My wife and I spent most of today cleaning up roofing shingles after having our roof redone.  During one of the trips made to the local dump my wife witnessed someone tossing old flags into the trash pit.  Together we questioned why someone would bother buying a flag to display patriotism and then toss it out in such a disrespectful manor.  My guess is they didn't know how to properly dispose of the flag.  I would hope that people in this country don't just feign their patriotism although I suspect there are some who do.  On the weekend of Veterans day I thought it important to share a short lesson about flag disposal in light of this.

The correct way to dispose of an unserviceable flag is to destroy it not to toss it in the trash like common refuse.  The American Legion will accept damaged or tattered flags which they will correctly dispose of in a ceremony every year on Flag Day.  On their website they state: 

The Flag Code suggests that, "when a flag has served its useful purpose, it should be destroyed, preferably by burning." For individual citizens, this should be done discreetly so the act of destruction is not perceived as a protest or desecration. Many American Legion Posts conduct Disposal of Unserviceable Flag Ceremonies on June 14, Flag Day. This ceremony creates a particularly dignified and solemn occasion for the retirement of unserviceable flags.

So please folks, if you wish to take the time to fly a flag at your home also take the time to learn how to treat it respectfully which also includes how to dispose of it if and when it becomes too tattered to fly any longer.