[August 27, 2013]Boy Scout Troop 102 recently
held a flag retiring ceremony at the Scout camp area in Kickapoo
Creek Park. The ceremony is a very solemn event meant to dispose of
worn and tattered flags in a respectful manner.
In all, the boys disposed of 13 flags during the ceremony.
Below is a copy of the ceremonial procedure and photos of the Scouts
fulfilling their duty according to procedure.
The flag of the
United States of America is an honored symbol of our nation's unity,
it's hopes, it's achievements, it's glory and it's high resolve.
When the flag is in such condition, through wear or damage, that it
is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it shall be destroyed in
a dignified manner befitting such a symbol. The traditional way is
to cut the flag into pieces and burn it in a modest but blazing
fire. As we perform this respected duty, let us reflect on the
design and meaning of our flag.
The Blue field or
union is the point of honor, the upper comer of the Flag's own
right. The symbolism of the right hand goes far back in antiquity
when it was the weapon hand. Raising the right arm free of any
weapon meant peace. It became a salute, a way of giving praise and
honor. The union is blue, representing the night sky with stars
forming a new and glorious constellation. There is one star for each
state in our union. It is said the point of honor of our flag was
made from the blue clock belonging to a captain in the Continental
The stripes are
symbolic of beams of morning light, rays emanating from the sun--
thirteen red and white stripes, one for each of the original
thirteen colonies. The stripes in our flag were inspired by the
rattlesnake flag flown on the ships of the Continental Fleet and the
striped banner of the Sons of Liberty. Though the pattern has
changed, the bars of shining red and gleaming white have remained.
The stripes are alternating, seven red and six white. The red stands
for courage and the blood of those brave men and women who fought
and died to establish and preserve our republic; the white
representing the purity and high moral resolve on which our country
The blue of a
captain's cloak, the white of a soldier's shirt, the red from a
flannel petticoat of a patriot's wife-- this was our flag. This is
the flag that stands for honor -yours and mine.
We will now
distribute the flag stripes to each person present.
At this time, we
ask that each person holding a white stripe please come place it on
the fire, laying it across the flames.
At this time, we
ask that each person holding a red stripe please come place it on
the fire, also laying it across the flames.
Scouts, you may now
place the blue field of stars across the flames one at a time so
that each field is consumed before the next one is retired.
As the fire
consumes the worn and tattered material in its refining flame, let
us remember the words of George Washington when the Star-spangled
Banner was first flown by the Continental Army: "We take the stars
from heaven and the red from our mother country. We separate the red
by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and
the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty."
Thus the Stars and Stripes became what it is; born amid the strife
of battle, it has become the standard around which a free people
have fought to preserve the greatest nation in the world.
[Ceremonial procedure copied from
file received from Jennifer Craig]