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Boy Scouts ceremoniously retire American Flag

Braving the moist, chilled weather Thursday evening, Boy Scout Troop 99 ceremoniously retired an American Flag.

There are three ways to properly and respectfully retire a worn American Flag that is beyond repair; burning, burial, or recycling. Burning is the preferred method according to the United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k which states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Boy Scout Troop 99 followed a specific ceremony to not only honor the American Flag, but also the veterans who served this nation under the symbol of the American Flag. The American Flag is considered to be a symbol of democracy, something veterans have fought to maintain. It is considered it a great honor to be asked to perform the Flag Retirement Ceremony.

The Boy Scouts diligently followed the pomp and circumstance, conducting themselves with reverence and respect. Despite the cold, they proudly displayed their uniforms and performed a final Pledge of Allegiance to the flag before reverently placing the flag atop the fire and setting it ablaze. Then, they surrounded the fire pit, watching over the flag as it retired into ash. The Cub Scouts of Pack 99 even surrounded the fire, learning the importance of such a ceremony.

According to Wade Harper, 17, “Retiring an American Flag is a sacred and important tradition that I am proud to be a part of. To retire an American Flag it must be burnt on a fire until there is nothing left. Being part of the color guard, I had the honor of carrying and laying our beautiful flag on the fire. Having mayor Dory and Representative Jim Baird there was really special and added a new layer of importance to the event. I will always remember standing around the fire with my fellow Scouts both young and old and the look of pride on the veteran’s faces as the young generation carried on this sacred tradition.”

With a final salute, the flag was laid to rest in the presence of Mayor Dory, representatives Jim and Beau Baird, and several veterans.