Burn that flag

The question was “How should you dispose of a U.S. flag that’s beyond repair?”
Options were 1) Burn it 2) Shred it 3) Give it to your local government or American Legion Post to dispose of

One of the things I loved as a kid were flags. I decided that the US flag was one of the best, design-wise. You have your red, white and blue, the colors of both England, with whom we fought for independence, and France, who helped us achieve it. (Thanks, Lafayette.) After adding a star and a stripe for each state entering the union, someone figured out that we’d better stick to the 13 stripes and merely alter the number of stars.

But it is clear that not many folks have read Title 4, Chapter 1 of the United States Code, which can be found here, among other places. (My guess is that most people have never heard of the US Code. That extra star provision is there. So is this: The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning, which I’ve noted before, probably.

Interesting piece I found:

I recently took a Flag Etiquette Quiz at another site. One of the questions concerned proper disposal of the American flag. The question was “How should you dispose of a U.S. flag that’s beyond repair?”
Options were 1) Burn it 2) Shred it 3) Give it to your local government or American Legion Post to dispose of

The quiz gave the correct answer as “You should give a flag that’s beyond repair to your local government or American Legion Post to dispose of.” But my local government would not accept our old flag. What should I do to dispose of an old flag?

USA Flag Site Answer:

Their answer came from an incorrect interpretation of this sentence at the Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration (the GSA):

“American Legion Posts and local governments often have facilities to dispose of unserviceable flags.”

While that statement is true, it’s also true that they often have neither the facilities nor the knowledge… The only definitive answer is found in the US Code…

So if you’re one of those Americans who like to put out your flag, or have placed them in public settings – bridge overpasses seem to be particularly popular, in my observation – you might want to make sure the flags are still serviceable. Then dispose of those ratty old flags properly.
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Interesting conversation: Should Churches Display the American Flag in Their Sanctuaries? I’m in the NO camp.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “Burn that flag”

  1. It’s worth mentioning that burning should be in a respectful manner, and not it effigy. Just sayin’.

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