Boy Scouts and American Legion retire more than 200 worn U.S. flags

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Clockwise from above: Boy Scouts and Legion members salute in honor of the flags.... Scoutmaster Lee Clark and Scout Jordan Fryhover take one of the worn flags to the burn container.... Fryover and a fellow Scout fold their flag before placing it in the barrel.... The process continued until all flags were destroyed.

More than 200 American flags were destroyed Sunday during a flag disposal and retirement ceremony at the American Legion in Hillsboro.

Almost 30 people witnessed the procedure, which featured speakers Dick Carr, Hillsboro Post 366 commander; Wayne Friesen, chaplain; Tim Howell, sergeant-at-arms, and Don Stenzel, first vice-commander.

?We wish to present a number of flags we have inspected for disposal,? Howell said. ?I also have inspected these flags and they have become faded and worn. I recommend they be destroyed.?

Having served their usefulness, Carr, other American Legion members and local Boy Scouts, were ready to retire the flags with proper respect.

?A flag may be a piece of cloth or a beautiful banner made of finest silk,? Carr said. ?It is a precious symbol of all that we and our comrades have worked for and died for. It symbolizes justice, freedom and democracy.

?Let these faded flags of our country be retired and destroyed with the respect and honor each deserves,? he said.

The chaplain thanked God for the U.S. and its flag and for the liberty for which it stands.

?To a clean and purging flame we commit these flags worn out in worthy service.?

One by one, each flag was carefully placed into one of two cylindrical containers for burning.

In addition to the speakers, other American Legion members helping in the ceremony were Loren Hiebert (adjunct) Glen Schattak, Rod Bolstad, Dan Perry, Al Plenert, Mel Ratzlaff and Sons of the American Legion member Tom Koslowsky.

The Hillsboro Boy Scouts also contributed time and volunteers. They included scoutmaster Lee Clark, Jesse Meier, Jordan Simmons, Jordan Fryhover, along with Todd Simmons and John Meier, Scouts fathers.

The last flag disposal was almost four years ago, Carr said.

Over the years since then, American Legion members again collected tattered, torn and faded flags for Sunday?s service, which this year fell on Flag Day, the celebration of the American flag.

According to flag etiquette, when a flag is no longer a fitting emblem of display, it should be destroyed.

For more information about Old Glory, stop by the Hillsboro American Legion, 405 Floral Dr., or call 947-3624.

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