Flag Retirement Ceremony

     When the United States flag becomes worn, torn, faded or badly soiled, it is time to replace it with a new flag, and the old flag should be "retired" with all the dignity and respect befitting our nation's flag. The traditional method of retirement is to incinerate the flag, but this does not mean that one should simply drop the entire flag (intact) into a fire. We are not burning a flag, we are retiring a symbol of America's honor, courage, and strength.

     A flag ceases to be a flag when it is cut into pieces. A flag should never be torn up like an old bed sheet. It should be cut up with scissors or shears in a methodical manner.

     The U.S. flag is more than just some brightly colored cloth... it is a symbol of our nation.

     Seven red stripes and six white stripes; together represent the original 13 colonies that gained us liberty. The red stripes remind us of the lifeblood of brave men and women who were ready to die for this, their country.

     The white stripes remind us of purity and cleanliness of purpose, thought, word and deed. The blue is for truth and justice, like the eternal blue of the star-filled heavens.

     The stars represent the fifty sovereign states of our union. The American Creed states, "it is my duty to my country to love it, to respect its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies."

     The U.S. flag should be treated with respect when it's flying, and should be treated with respect when it's being retired.

     Therefore, we retire flags with dignity and respect when they become worn, torn, faded, or badly soiled. A flag ceases to be a flag when it is cut into pieces.

     Note - VFW Post 3258 conducts a flag retirement ceremony once a year.