By Nancy Rasmussen, Fort Rucker Public AffairsMarch 22, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Mar. 22, 2012) -- The nation's symbol is proudly displayed outside houses and businesses to show respect for those who sacrificed on behalf of fellow citizens past, present and future, here at home and in faraway places; however, how people should honor the flag when it becomes worn, torn, faded and threadbare is not clear to many who fly it.
The section of law dealing with American Flag etiquette, generally referred to as the Flag Code, clearly states that, "When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner."
Veteran service organizations in the communities surrounding Fort Rucker collect flags to be destroyed and perform the required burning in periodic ceremonies, at least once a year near Flag Day on June 14.
In Daleville, contact the Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 6020, located on Hwy. 84, at 598-6211. Ozark's Disabled American Veterans Chapter 94 performs flag collection throughout the year and conducts disposal ceremonies as needed. In Ozark, call Harry Grainger at 797-9052. In Enterprise, contact Laird Culver, DAV Chapter commander, at 475-4373 or Bob Cooper, John Wiley Brock Post 6683 VFW Post Commander at 477-7076.
"It is important to render the proper courtesy and honor to the colors of our country," Culver said. "It is also just as important to dispose of flags showing weathering, fading, tatters and tears in the proper manner and not just put them in the trash to fill the landfills. We honor our flag with the proper respect when it flies and when properly displayed, and it is just as fitting to honor it when retired from use."
Flags can also be turned in to local Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations for proper disposal by veteran service organizations. To locate the nearest Scout organization, call the Boy Scouts Alabama Florida Council at (334) 793-7882 and Girl Scouts Southern Alabama Council at (800) 239-6636.
"Community veteran service organizations coordinate flag disposal ceremonies with local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America to allow scouts the opportunity to perform work towards merit badges, skill awards, and other types of recognition in service to the community and the nation," Culver said.