The Overton County American Legion Post 4 in Livingston is hosting an American Flag Retirement ceremony Sunday night at 7 p.m.
Post Sargent of Arms Robert Secott said the Flag Day ceremony will be a way for people to honor the service of a loved one.
“What we do is if people have a flag they want to bring up,” Secott said, “they can bring it up and have it retired in the name of a loved one, a friend, a military member, a police officer, or whoever they would like to have that flag retired in name of.”
Secott said the flag retirement is a ceremony the Legion hold yearly on Flag Day. Flag Day is celebrated annually on June 14, the anniversary of when the United States Flag was adopted on June 14, 1777. Although not an official federal holiday, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing June 14 as Flag Day in 1917.
Secott said it is important citizens know when a flag needs to be retired and to ensure it is handled correctly.
“A flag should be retired when it is in such condition that it is no longer fitting to be displayed,” Secott said. “It should be destroyed in a dignified way. Preferably by burning. Basically you are retiring a flag because it is no longer fit to serve the nation.”
There are a number of ways to get a flag that needs retirement to the right people, according to Secott. He said many service organizations know how to properly handle flags.
“In Livingston, you can take it to the Boy Scout troop,” Secott said. “You can take it to Speck Funeral Home, the VFW, the American Legion, or the auxilary courthouse.”
Secott said, no matter what, always make sure you are respecting the flag that needs to retire.
“You just don’t throw them in the trash,” Secott said. “That’s just not a sign of respect. What we do is a sign of respect for the flag when we do it.”
Secott said most groups around the nation hold similar ceremonies. He said when the ceremony is over, the ashes are buried similar to how a fallen soldier would be interred.