Infographic: How to Retire the American Flag

According to the Flag Code, when the condition of a flag makes it unsuitable for service it should be retired with dignity.  The flag might be worn, torn, faded or otherwise damaged. Holding a flag retirement ceremony is an excellent way to teach youth about how to care for flags with respect.

Younger Scouts especially may be under the impression that disposing of a flag by burning is disrespectful. Take some time beforehand to explain what will happen and why. A short discussion before you begin will help them understand why retiring a worn flag in this manner is appropriate.  You might even want to consider saving the grommets as a token of respect also.

This graphic below , which will help you explain how to retire a flag, was created by A Stars & Strips Flag corporation . Visit their site for more information.

2 Responses to Infographic: How to Retire the American Flag

  1. Robbie @ Use Resources Wisely August 8, 2016 at 12:30 PM #

    Flag retirements are one of my favorite parts of camp weeks. Thank you for this breakdown!

  2. Sean August 29, 2016 at 11:42 AM #

    This is great. There are so many myths about retiring a flag and a lot of people get very offended if you don’t do it ‘right,’ which in my fairly extensive flag-retiring experience, is usually not the ‘right way.’ The first thing I tell Cubmasters who ask how to retire a flag is to say “don’t listen to people who say you have to do it a very specific way.” I appreciate the emphasis this article puts on the simply doing it respectfully and in a dignified manner. If you keep that in your forefront, you will retire the flag correctly and your Scouts and their families will have a unique, moving, patriotic experience.

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