Flags Retired In Ceremony At VFW

Veterans destroy flags in a ceremony this past week at the VFW in Oskaloosa.

Veterans destroy flags in a ceremony this past week at the VFW in Oskaloosa.

by Ken Allsup
June 16th, 2022

Oskaloosa, Iowa – In a ceremony at the VFW in Oskaloosa, flags that have become unserviceable were destroyed in a retirement ceremony on Tuesday evening.

As stated by the Department of Defense, “Many Americans proudly fly the U.S. flag at their homes and places of work, but what do you do with it when it’s old and ratty and you’re ready for a new one? Don’t just throw it in the trash like any other old item — that’s considered disrespectful.”

“The American Legion passed a resolution about flag retirement ceremonies in 1937, and they’ve been an important ritual ever since. According to the resolution, “The approved method of disposing of unserviceable flags has long been that they be destroyed by burning.””

“The U.S. flag is considered such a sacred symbol that burning it in an undignified manner constitutes desecration. That’s why the ceremonies are held in a specific manner.”

Brody Barnhart recently completed and installed boxes to help area residents deposit their faded and tattered flags for destruction. Those boxes are now installed at the Environmental Learning Center east of Oskaloosa and at the VFW in Oskaloosa.

Barnhart said the flag boxes were essential to help people learn about flag etiquette and the importance of properly retiring a flag.

The ceremony is typically held outdoors, near the place of destruction; the day’s heat brought the ceremony inside. The veterans then made their way to the container to burn the flags, destroying them “in a clean flame.”

Posted by on Jun 16 2022. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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