U.S. flags shown respect at disposal

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2002

Features Editor

Other than the Holy Bible, the greatest tribute to freedom in the world is the American flag.

Freddie Turner, VFW 7055, used those word to describe the reverence with which all Americans should hold the American flag and the honor with which it should be disposed.

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"The American flag is a symbol of freedom and a symbol of our great nation," Turner said. "The red on the flag is a symbol of the the blood shed in defense of our county. The white is a symbol of the burning tears shed for America’s lost sons and the field of blue is symbolic of God’s heavens under which it flies. The stars, clustered together, represent the 50 states as one for God and country."

A flag with so much symbolism deserves to be disposed of properly when it becomes tattered and torn and is no longer fit to be displayed in a dignified way.

"The proper way to dispose of a flag is by burning," Turner said." We are gathered here on Flag Day to properly dispose of flags that are no longer a fitting emblem for display.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 41 in Troy joined the members of VFW 7055 in the flag disposal ceremony at 9 a.m. on the grounds of the Bass House in downtown Brundidge.

Stanley Peters, troop committee chairman, said the proper word for disposal of an American flag is "incineration," not "burning."

Troop members properly separated the flag’s colors and ceremoniously incinerated it in a fire prepared for the occasion.

Peters said four woods are used to incinerate a tattered or torn flag.

"Redwood is for the blood of Americans who fought and died for our freedoms," he said. "Oak is for the rugged strength that carried our forefathers across this great country. Cedar is to protect and preserve. Walnut is for the country’s rich heritage and fruitful brotherhood."

After the flag was incinerated, the ashes were disposed of ceremoniously by the Scouts.

Turner said VFW 7055 plans to make the flag disposal ceremony an annual event.