Flag Retirement Ceremony ...

A flag retirement ceremony was held last week at the Hampton Inn. Hotel manager Robert Blatt, left, handed the folded flag to Tiger Cub Scout Ryder Case. Next to Ryder are Committee Chairman of Cub Scout Pack 866 Martin Brandt and Tiger Den Leader Heather Marmon, who is also an employee of the hotel.

Hampton Inn General Manager Robert Blatt handed the hotel’s retired American flag to first grader and Tiger Cub Scout Ryder Case last Sept. 8 during a special ceremony. This important handing over of the flag to the Cub Scouts means the flag will be disposed of properly.

Heather Marmon, Hampton Inn sales manager who is a Tiger Den Leader for Pack 866 was on hand, as was Chairman of Cub Scout Pack 866 Martin Brandt. Blatt, who was a boy scout himself growing up in San Marcos reaching the rank of Eagle Scout, wanted to make sure the flag was retired properly, said Marmon.

“We’ve had that hotel flag since we opened in 2020 and it has gotten us through the hardest of times during the pandemic. The general manager wanted to make sure that we retired it with dignity,” said Marmon.

The flag will be burned in a respectful manner.

Ryder was chosen as the cub scout to receive the flag on behalf of his troop. Blatt explained when Case arrived, the flag had already been lowered and folded in a triangular style in the lobby. Blatt unfolded it to show him how it was faded and tattered and had served its time. Then Blatt folded it back and gave it to Ryder who passed it to Brandt.

Blatt and Marmon had discussed retiring the flag and came up with the idea that by holding this ceremony, more people would be aware of the proper protocol.

Properly retiring and disposing of an American flag is a very important act that should not be taken lightly. The flag is our national symbol, representing the struggle for freedom of our ancestors, our history and who we are as Americans, as such it has to be treated with respect and retired when it has become too old to display.

According to National Flag Foundation website below is the protocol for flags that have become too old.

When to Dispose of an American Flag

The U.S. Flag Code 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.” When an American flag is worn beyond repair, it should be retired in a respectful manner.

How to Dispose of a Flag:

Burning a Flag

“The first way to dispose of an American flag is to hold a flag burning ceremony at your home or other private location. Before conducting a flag burning ceremony, note the material of your flag and the local fire ordinances. Some materials may emit toxins if openly burned.

Begin a flag burning ceremony by folding the whole flag in a triangle shape. Next, start a fire large enough to completely burn the flag and respectfully place the flag into the fire. The flag should not touch the ground in the process.

As the flag begins to burn, salute the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, and pause for a moment of silence. The flag should be thoroughly burned so that nothing besides ashes are left. Finally, bury the ashes.

Community Disposal Box

A second way to dispose of an American flag is to drop it off in a flag disposal box. In many communities, local government offices and police stations have flag disposal boxes. Throughout the year, organizations like the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts collect the disposed flags and hold ceremonies to retire them. Flag Day, June 14, is one of the most common days to hold flag disposal ceremonies.

Burying a Flag

Although the U.S. Code says that burning is the preferred method to dispose of a flag, people also do so via burial. If you choose this method, place a folded flag in a dignified wooden box. Pause for a moment of silence after burying the flag box in the ground.

Recycling a Flag

A final option for disposing of a flag is to recycle it. Some flag companies will accept old flags and use the material to make new ones.

Who Can Dispose of a Flag?

Anyone can hold a flag disposal ceremony. Whoever chooses to retire a flag should only proceed in a way that is respectful and dignified.”

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