Legion hosts flag disposal ceremony

By Frank Lewis

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If you are flying a torn or damaged American flag maybe the time has come for you to get a replacement. But once you have replaced that tattered flag with a newer one, what do you do with the unserviceable flag? Mike Phillips, commander of James Dickey Post 23, of the American Legion says there is a proper way to dispose of that flag, and Post 23 will be holding a flag disposal ceremony this weekend.

“At 3 o’clock (p.m.) we’re going to have a ceremony,” Phillips said. “Everybody will be in uniform and I’ve got a burner that I fixed up and we’ll be having it there and anybody that has a flag and would like to drop it off at that time we’ll be glad to accept it and dispose of it the proper way. We’re more than pleased to help everybody out.”

The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags is outlined in Resolution No. 440, passed by the 19th National Convention of The American Legion in New York, Sept. 20-23, 1937. The ceremony has been an integral part of American Legion ritual since that date.

“The SAL (Sons of the American Legion) are putting together a hamburger and hot dog feed for the people that are going to be attending,” Phillips said.

The purpose of The American Legion in adopting the ceremony was to encourage proper respect for the flag of the United States and to provide for disposal of unserviceable flags in a dignified manner. Resolution No. 373, approved by the National Convention of The American Legion meeting in Chicago, Illinois, September 18-20, 1944, re-emphasized the purpose of proper public flag disposal ceremonies and encouraged greater use of this ceremony by The American Legion.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.