How to retire your grand old flag

The flag flying high over the USS Arizona Memorial. / Photo submitted by Jason and Becky Carel via Facebook

As we salute our veterans this Veterans Day, we're reminded to look to the stars and stripes as a symbol of our country's strength and unity.

While the symbolism of the American flag lasts forever, the physical flag itself may not.

What do you do with your grand old flag when it turns to tatters or succumbs to the elements?

There are many rules for the display of an American flag, but when it has served it's lifetime don't just throw it in the trash.

Etiquette shows that when a flag is so worn that's it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. (See USA Flag Site)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Mark Twain Lake has invited the public to a flag retirement ceremony in honor of Veterans Day at the M.W. Boudreaux Memorial Visitor Center (just south of the Clarence Cannon Dam) on Friday at 2 p.m. The Hannibal Heritage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will host the ceremony. All attendees will be given a miniature U.S. flag to take home as a memento.

Remember, when you lower the flag it should not touch the ground. To store your flag it should be folded neatly and held in the highest regard.

As an alternative, you might look into taking your flag to one of the following organizations for proper disposal:

- Girl Scouts (217-222-1030) or Boy Scouts of America (217-224-0204)- VFW- American Legion- Marine Corps League

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