American flags are iconic symbols of sacrifice and patriotism. When you have a faded or worn flag that needs replacement, don’t throw it out. The U.S. Flag Code specifies respectful disposal when a flag is past its useful life. Here are a few ways to accomplish this task...

4 Options When Retiring Old American Flags

1. Burning

Before burning a flag, fold it into a military triangle. Place the folded flag on top of a large fire to burn. Observe a moment of silence while it’s burning, or say the Pledge of Allegiance. Keep the fire going until the flag is reduced to ash. Leaving half-charred sections of cloth is deemed disrespectful.

2. Burial

american flagsYou may bury a flag instead of burning it. Fold it into a military triangle, and place it in a wooden box. Dig a hole and inter the box. Pay your respects by remaining silent or reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

3. Donation

Take your flag to Harbortown Flag, who retires flags with several organizations such as the Boy Scounts to help our younger generation learn respect for our flag.  You can also give your flag to the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or the Boy or Girl Scouts. The U.S. armed forces also offer disposal services.

4. Recycling

Some recycling centers accept American flags that are no longer in use. They officially retire old flags and shred them so they can be used again to make new flags. Before dropping yours off, verify that the recycler is sanctioned for flag disposal.

If you’re in the market for a new U.S. flag, Harbortown Flag in Vermilion, OH, will help.  And bring your old flag with you for retirement.  This is also helpful to make sure you replace it with the correct size and material.  Harbortown Flag stocks Made-in-the-USA flags of all sorts, including U.S. and state flags, nautical flags, and sports flags, along with poles and accessories. A large selection of sizes and materials is available to suit every preference and budget. They also provide professional installation and flagpole repairs. Visit the company’s website to view available products. For information about a specific flag or pole, or to make an appointment during winter shutdown, call (440) 967-FLAG (3524).  Harbortown Flag returns to their 7-days-a-week schedule in late-March.