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How do you dispose of (or retire) a U.S. Flag?

Article ID: 497
Last updated: 10 Sep, 2012
Revision: 2
Views: 15560

Disposing of Worn U.S. Flags – Private or Public Procedure

 

In August, 2000, at the VFW 101st National Convention in Milwaukee, VFW delegates passed a resolution establishing a U.S. Flag disposal program for Posts to conduct, privately or publicly.

 

The VFW feels individuals are responsible for maintaining the U.S. Flag in their possession, however, as a public service some VFW Posts have special details assigned for gathering and disposing* of worn national emblems.  Some Posts may go further – they make gifts of new flags to groups or provide information on how to order a U.S. Flag from the VFW Store 1-800-821-2606.

*SUGGESTED PROCEDURE FOR INDIVIDUALS TO USE IN PRIVATE OR PUBLIC FOR DISPOSING OF A TORN, SOILED, OR BADLY FADED U.S. FLAG.

 

The Flag should be folded in its customary manner. (See VFW Ritual.)- It is important that the fire be sizeable and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the Flag.

 

Place the Flag on the fire.

 

The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the Flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.

 

After the Flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.

 

Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.

 

(Approved for distribution by the VFW National Citizenship Education and Community Service Committee, September 18, 2000.)

 

If you have any questions, please contact our flag expert at tbeauchamp@vfw.org 816-756-3390 x 287

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