Participate in U.S. flag retirement ceremony

Published 6:00 am Sunday, November 8, 2015

Today is an opportunity for residents to show support to a variety of causes.

The David Reece Daughters of the American Revolution partnered with Girl Scouts Heart of the South and will have a flag retirement ceremony today at 3 p.m. at the Oxford Conference Center’s patio.

Their timing coincides with it being the week of Veteran’s Day, which supporting troops and being aware of what military and our country  does for us is a cause both entities embrace.

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It is the second year the two groups have partnered for the event, and it’s great females are getting involved in the flag burning ceremonies that we used to only see Boy Scouts and other male-oriented groups performing. It’s great a young generation of girls will grow up knowing more about the armed forces and how to properly retire a flag.

“This is part of our focus on patriotism and historic preservation and education,” said DAR Regent Sally Malone. “We definitely want to invite any veterans to come and participate, and anyone can bring flags if they need disposal.”

A flag should be retired when it becomes worn, torn, faded or badly soiled. You might be tempted to toss the flag into the trash, but hold on to it and touch base with a Scout.

According to the U.S. Scouting Service Project, you can’t just drop a flag into flames. There is a protocol to follow.

“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 in half, vertically (be careful not to cut up the blue star field). Then, place the two halves together and cut them in half, horizontally. You will end up with four pieces of flag, one being the blue star field.”

The blue star field is not cut because it represents our 50 states in solidarity and that union should never be broken.

A flag ceremony is a beautiful thing to watch and participate in. It shows respect for our country and its patriots, it teaches flag etiquette and provides a moment to reflect on our country and what it has overcome.

We are thankful for more people getting involved and making America a place we can be proud to live in.