Flag Day ceremony sees 60 flags retired

“The Franklin News-Post  (Franklin County, VA)”, 2018-06-20

By Mary Kay White

Boones Mill – Mountain View Memorial Park held a flag retirement ceremony on Saturday morning during which nearly 60 American flags were officially retired and properly disposed of by Boones Mill Boy Scout Troop 129.

Eight scouts and several troop leaders participated in the event, during which the scouts adhered to U.S. flag code by removing the flags’ “field of blue” before carefully folding and then burning the damaged flags.

U.S. flag code states that once a flag is worn and damaged, it must be completely burned beyond recognition.

Conner Deering, 14, of Rocky Mount places retired flags on the fire at Mountain View Memorial Park during the ceremony on Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Tim Dye

The ashes from the burned flags were then gathered and buried in Mountain View Memorial Park.

“Our troop is committed to teaching our boys respect for both our flag and our servicemen and women who have fought in any of our wars,” troop leader Terry Bridges said. “We saw this as a service to our community and a way to teach our boys about respect.”

Attendees at the event were given stars cut out from the damaged flags and asked to place them in the fire in remembrance of loved ones lost while serving.

Dena Custer, receptionist at Mountain View Memorial Park and one of the organizers of the event, said that it was the park’s high volume of American flags on veterans’ graves that inspired the ceremony.

“We know that the flags need to be handled according to flag etiquette and there aren’t many places to do that,” Custer said. “We use a lot of flags here so we feel like, over time, as they’re worn, we want to make sure they’re disposed of properly.”

The park will accept anyone’s damaged flags at any point in the year and dispose of them in the annual Flag Day ceremony.

Holley Insurance will also accept faded flags at their office on Franklin Street at any time, and even gave away 74 new American flags in the week leading up to this year’s Flag Day.