Honor your flag on Flag Day
May 23, 2012
By Michele Mihalovich
A lot of people contact the American Legion Post 79 in Snoqualmie, wondering what to do with tattered, worn or dirty United States flags.
So Art Bergschlawiner, sergeant of arms with the legion, figured Flag Day on June 14 would be a fitting time to educate folks about the process, and is telling people where they can bring retired flags.
The legion hall, at 38625 S.E. River St., set up a red mailbox labeled “flags,” where people can drop off any flags — now and long after Flag Day.
Bergschlawiner said few people know that unserviceable and worn out flags need to be disposed of in a reverent manner.
According to the U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, also known as the Flag Code, “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.”
If you would like to dispose of a flag yourself, then the most fitting way is to hold your own, private ceremony, he said. After your flag has been burned, the ashes should be buried.
But new concerns about the toxic smoke emitted from burning nylon flags has many patriotic Americans wondering what to do.
That’s where the legion and local Boy Scouts come in.
Bergschlawiner the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have been collecting old, worn out, nylon flags and taking them to a funeral home so that they can be burned in a safe and controlled manner.
He said anyone can drop off any kind of flag at the legion. The Boy Scouts will take care of the nylon flags and the legion will take care of the others. And he said he anticipates Post 79 will hold a flag disposal ceremony in the future.