Boy Scouts, veterans give flags a proper retirement

Old Glory waves over homes and courthouses across the United States, but eventually, the stars and stripes become tired and tattered.

Boy Scouts and veterans in Newport retired several American flags Monday that were worn beyond repair.

“You’re always worried when you’re putting on a ceremony to do it the best you can,” said veteran and Boy Scout Rotarian John Linch.

It may come as a surprise, but the United States Flag Code encourages people to burn American flags in a dignified way when the flag is, “in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display…”

But today, most flags are made of nylon and petroleum based products which release harmful chemicals when burned. Instead of burning the flags Monday, Linch placed them in a small cedar casket, which will be buried near Diamond Lake this summer.

“You’re talking about the flag, but you’re also talking about the soldiers that died,” Linch said. “And you know, it’s an emotional thing for me. I’ve had several of my friends over in Vietnam get killed.”

If you have a flag that needs be retired, you can drop it off at any local VFW or American Legion post. For more information about retiring flags, click here.