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Flag Retirement and Grommets

Cindy sent in this question:

I would like to make a key chain or slide for the boys in our troop who participated in a recent flag retirement ceremony from the grommets that were left after the flags were burned. Has anyone done anything to preserve / recycle or create anything from the grommets. I think it would be a nice way to remember this meaningful ceremony.?? Thanks.

I have heard of many things which are done with the grommets, but never making a key chain. Some of the opinions I have received on what to do with the grommets include:

  • Bury them with the ashes.
  • Polish them and give them to veterans or the person who donated the flag.
  • Give them to the Scouts who performed the ceremony.
  • Frame them as a memento.
  • They aren’t really part of the flag so don’t do anything special with them.

Readers, what are your opinions? Do you have any ideas for Cindy? Share them in the comments below.

8 Responses to Flag Retirement and Grommets

  1. LIScouter March 5, 2014 at 10:15 AM #

    A scouter friend told me to clean them up, and make them into medals for the scouts who conducted the retirement ceremony. I use red, white and blue stripped ribbon. Cubs love them.

  2. Bill March 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM #

    Our pack does a flag retirement as part of our campfire ceremony during our campouts. The grommets are collected from the ashes and kept until Memorial Day when we help place a US Flag on every grave site at Camp Nelson National Cemetery. The Scouts can then place a grommet in the ground next to a headstone as a display of respect for the service members sacrifice for our country.

    • Jessica May 7, 2014 at 10:19 AM #

      This is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  3. Vickie April 7, 2014 at 10:27 AM #

    I think we will polish up the grommets, place them on a survival/braided leather type key chain and present to our SM at our next COH. The boys may also do the same with theirs. In hopes that they may always remember.

  4. Jessica May 7, 2014 at 10:30 AM #

    I plan to do a retirement ceremony with our pack. I will be contacting our local VFW post to request that a few veterans attend to help teach the boys about the ceremony, and also for the boys to feel connected with the veterans who served for them, even before they were born. I plan to make a small mimento for each veteran with one of the Grommets to thank them. Something framed, patriotic, centimental – using the scout crest and our pack number.

  5. Cristy September 26, 2014 at 3:47 PM #

    We presented a grommet to each boy who participated in the retirement ceremony. Many of them use theirs as a neckerchief slide. It serves as a great reminder of such a memorable event.

  6. Shawn November 20, 2014 at 9:30 PM #

    We hand ours out to the scouts who helped in retiring the flags. Was told they also could be hung on flag pole to keep track of how many flags have been replaced.

  7. Mary December 9, 2014 at 8:10 AM #

    Our Webelos conduct an annual flag retirement ceremony for our pack. I gather the grommets from the ashes afterwards and make them a special neckerchief slide. On the back of the slide I write the date of the ceremony. I make lots of slides for my boys (kind of sort of an addiction!) These slides seem to always be one they treasure most :)

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