American Flag Disposal
The time for flag disposal comes when a flag can no longer be flown in a dignified manner. A flag should be clean, vibrant, and whole and in good condition. A frayed flag should not be flown. It should either be mended or the flag retired. 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 the flag itself is no longer in a suitable condition for presentation, it is also no longer in suitable condition for flight. It should be replaced with a new flag. An old flag should never be thrown away. Flags that can no longer be flown should be retired in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. Important flags should be kept in a flag case, where they can be protected.
Flag Disposal Ceremony
The following disposal ceremony can be tailored to suit individual tastes. You can also contact your local Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion Post, as these organizations frequently offer flag retirement ceremonies.
1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.
2. It is important that the fire be sizeable and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.
3. Place the flag on the fire.
4. The individual (s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.
5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
6. Please ensure conformity to local/state fire codes or ordinances.