Wednesday, June 14, is Flag Day, commemorating the 1777 adoption of the United States’ flag. As a revered symbol of freedom and justice, the flag of the United States of America is to be shown the utmost respect. However, Flag Day isn’t a federal holiday.
The respect of the flag also extends to its eventual retirement. The United States Flag Code states, "The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."
If you have flags to be retired, the following organizations collect them for disposal:
- Boy Scouts of America
- Girl Scouts of the USA
- The American Legion
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
- Marine Corps League
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- Some flag companies, and funeral homes, also offer flag retirement services.
Contrary to popular belief, burning is not the only way that a flag can be disposed. The United States Flag Code dictates burning is only the preferred method of disposal. As long you retire the flag with respect and dignity, an alternate method is acceptable.
To bury the flag, begin with a dignified wooden box of good quality and construction, as this box will serve as the flag's vessel as it is interred. Fold the flag respectfully, place it in the box and bury the flag in the earth. You may choose to mark the burial location of the flag with a small, respectful wooden or stone marker.
Before burying the flag, you may also shred it. Shredding an American flag may at first seem violent or undignified. However, if burning the flag isn't possible, the U.S. Army's Heraldry Institute recommends shredding as an acceptable disposal method, provided it’s done with reverence.
Use scissors to slowly and methodically separate the thirteen stripes, leaving the blue star-spangled field intact. After the flag is completely cut into pieces, place it in a respectful receptacle and bury it, or ceremoniously burn the pieces one by one, starting with the stripes and ending with the blue field.
Some Flag Day events taking place, in regions served by PCSMoves:
- On Wednesday at noon, a ceremony will be at the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, at 198 Bank Street in Norfolk, VA.
- From 6-7 PM, American Legion Post 190 will hold a ceremony at the post, at 2711 Peach Street in Portsmouth, VA.
- The Colonial Flag Foundation is holding the 10th Annual Field of Honor flag display, now through the end of June, at 100 Bragg Blvd. in Fayetteville, NC.
- From 3-6 PM, the NAS Pensacola USO will hold an open house, at 153 Ellyson Avenue, Building 625-D. There will be free Starbucks tastings, great door prizes, desserts, and music!
- On Saturday, June 10, the Flag Day 5K will be held in Pensacola, FL.
Wednesday also marks the 242nd birthday of the United States' Army.Congress adopted the American Continental Army on that day in 1775. It's the day we celebrate the total Army force, comprised of multi-component soldiers as well as the civilians of the Department of the Army, and their contributions to national defense.
Some Army birthday events taking place in regions served by PCSMoves:
- On Wednesday, June 14 at 6:30 PM, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band will be performing a military appreciation show at City Center in Oyster Point, in Newport News, VA.
- Now through the end of the week, the 82nd Airborne Division Band will host a variety of performances at Fort Bragg, NC.
- On Thursday, June 15 at 7 PM, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band will be performing, “Music Under the Stars,” at Magnolia Park at Fort Eustis, VA.
Do you have any flags that hold special meaning for you? Share with us in the comments! Thinking about looking for a new home because of a PCS move? Start your search with us!