Flag Burning? No, Its a Flag Retirement.

Don’t forget to collect those unserviceable flags that need to be retired.  Keep an eye on your calendar for our upcoming flag retirement ceremony, this September.  That’s where the troop will respectfully retire those flags.

several small American flags

Quiz Time!

  • What do you do with a flag that’s dirty?  Clean it.
  • What do you do with a flag that’s torn? Repair it if you can.
  • What do you do if the flag is torn, can’t be repaired, or is soiled beyond cleaning? Then you retire it.
  • Your flag retirement isn’t the same as I saw done by ______ (fill in the blank).  There is no required ceremony to retire a flag, other than it must be done respectfully.
  • Is this a flag burning? NO.  (See below.)

I’ve helped to retire hundreds, if not thousands of American flags.  Like the flags, I lost count of how many times that people asked me if I was doing a “flag burning.”  I prefer to call it a flag retirement.  Why?

Its all a matter of respect.  A flag burning is an exercise in free speech where the person doing the burning is probably protesting American ideals.  But flag retirement is done with dignity and spelled out in the US Flag Code.


4 U.S.C. § 8 : US Code – Section 8, paragraph (k) says:

The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.


So, if you have some flags that are no longer fitting emblems of display, bring them out in September so we can pay final dignified respects to them.


About ewdupler

Gene is an avid outdoorsman, loves reading and is known to put pen to paper (well, he types) as an amateur poet.
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