Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Retirement Ceremony of the USA Flag

Some people do not know that there is a ceremony to retire the USA flag. Not too long ago a lady found one in the garbage. She knew that was not the correct way to discard our Old Glory so she brought it to me to take it to the boys scouts. If you have an old flag please take it to your local boy scouts or your military to let them give it the respect it deserves. If you don't have the money to replace your flag, but you still want to fly one please call your local Woodman of the World and they will help you get one if you don't want to fly the flag that is okay, but please retire the USA Flag with the honor it deserves.
I have put one of the ceremonies below to give you an idea of what is done.
(Ps. If you are a friend of mine from some where besides the USA and ya'll have a special ceremony for ya'lls flag and would like to share, that will be great. It is always nice to hear about other people and where they live.)

Retirement Ceremony of the USA Flag
When the United States flag (Old Glory) becomes worn, torn, faded or badly soiled, it is time to replace it with a new flag, and the old flag should be "retired" with all the dignity and respect befitting our nation's flag. The traditional method of retirement is to incinerate the flag, but this does not mean that one should simply drop the entire flag (intact) into a fire. Though I disagree with burning a flag for a political statement and truly feel it is a dishonorable act, I also feel that freedom of speech must be protected. However, today we are not burning a flag we are retiring a symbol of America's honor, courage, and strength. Therefore we request that all remain silent during this ceremony.

A flag ceases to be a flag when it is cut into pieces. In addition, it is easier to completely incinerate the flag, if it is cut into smaller pieces. A flag should never be torn up like an old bed sheet. It should be cut up with scissors or shears in a methodical manner. The corners of the flag should be stretched out over a table top and someone should cut the flag stripe by strip and then star by star.
Leader: "The U.S. flag is more than just some brightly colored cloth... it is a symbol of our nation."

Scout #1: "Seven red stripes and six white strips; together represent the original 13 colonies that gained us liberty. The red stripes remind us of the lifeblood of brave men and women who were ready to die for this, their country."

Scout #2: "The white stripes remind us of purity and cleanliness of purpose, thought, word and deed. The blue is for truth and justice, like the eternal blue of the star-filled heavens."

Scout #3:
"The stars represent the fifty sovereign states of our union. The American Creed states, "it is my duty to my country to love it, to respect its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies."

Leader: "The U.S. flag should be treated with respect when it's flying, and should be treated with respect when it's being retired."

Scout #4: "Therefore, we retire flags with dignity and respect when they become worn, torn, faded, or badly soiled. A flag ceases to be a flag when it is cut into pieces. We separate the 13 strips that represents the original 13 colonies, and the 50 stars to pay homage to the 50 states that together make up this great nation.
First Stripe"The thirteen stripes stand for the thirteen original colonies which are:
Order State Settled Capital Entered Union
1 Delaware DE 1638 Dover Dec. 7, 1787
2 Pennsylvania PA 1682 Harrisburg Dec. 12, 1787
3 New Jersey NJ 1660 Trenton Dec. 18, 1787
4 Georgia GA 1733 Atlanta Jan. 2, 1788
5 Connecticut CT 1634 Hartford Jan. 9, 1788
6 Massachusetts MA 1620 Boston Feb. 6, 1788
7 Maryland MD 1634 Annapolis Apr. 28, 1788
8 South Carolina SC 1670 Columbia May 23, 1788
9 New Hampshire NH 1623 Concord June 21, 1788
10 Virginia VA 1607 Richmond June 25, 1788
11 New York NY 1614 Albany July 26, 1788
12 North Carolina NC 1660 Raleigh Nov. 21, 1789
13 Rhode Island RI 1636 Providence May 29, 1790

Second Stripe "The white stands for purity"

Third Stripe "The red stands for courage"

Fourth Stripe "Give me liberty or give me death"

Fifth Stripe "One if by land, two if by sea"

Sixth Stripe "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution on the United States of America."

Seventh Stripe "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Eighth Stripe "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Ninth Stripe "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or press."

Tenth Stripe "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Eleventh Stripe "One Nation under God."

Twelfth Stripe "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Thirteenth Stripe "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Some people call me Old Glory, others call me the Star Spangled Banner, but whatever they call me, I am your Flag, the Flag of the United States of America... Something has been bothering me, so I thought I might talk it over with you... because it is about you and me.

I remember some time ago people lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade and naturally I was leading every parade, proudly waving in the breeze, when your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so his hand was directly over his heart...remember?

And you, I remember you. Standing there straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the right salute. Remember little sister? Not to be outdone she was saluting the same as you with her right hand over her heart...remember?

What happened? I'm still the same old Flag. Oh, I have a few more Stars since you where a boy. A lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago.

But now I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I come down the street you just stand there with your hands in your pockets and I may get a small glance and then you look away. Then I see the children running around and shouting...they don't seem to know who I am...I saw one man take his hat off, then look around, he didn't see anyone else with theirs off so he quickly put his back on.

Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I've been?...Anzio, Guadalcanal, Korea, Vietnam, and now the Persian Gulf. Take a look at the Memorial Honor Rolls sometimes, of those who never came back to keep this Republic free... One Nation Under God...when you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Well, it won't be long until I'll be coming down the street again. So when you see me, stand straight, place your right hand over your heart...and I'll salute you, waving back...and I'll know that...

"All say pledge of allegiance while flag burns."

Followed by a Taps and then a moment of silence


Junebug said...

My son is an Eagle Scout. I think ceremonies like these are very moving. That's a lot of history too.

Robinella said...

If its okay, I'll print this out. It'll be a good lesson for the boys.

Holly said...

My DH's an Eagle Scout as well. He takes this very seriously, which is why DS is never allowed near a flag. If it touches the ground, there's a lot of yelling going on. He was 2, o.k. 2! If you can't handle a 2 year old letting the flag touch the ground, don't hand it to a 2 year old. Thant's all I'm saying. Not that this is a sore point or anything.

kitten said...

My oldest is an Eagle Scout also. I was a leader for 8 years. I stepped down because of some men, didn't want to, but I did to keep from causing problems. I really do miss it it a lot at times. I also wrote a letter to our Editor to put this in our local paper to help inform others.

Dawn said...

That is very interesting, I had no idea. Thank you for the education. I am not sure if we have a ceremony. I have never really thought about it.

Debs said...

This is a great post! I knew not to fly a flag when it is torn, dirty, etc. I was not aware there was a ceremony to retire it. Thanks for the information. :D

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