Hundreds of US flags met a fitting end on Tuesday as American Legion Post 191 held its annual flag disposal ceremony.
Throughout the year, Post Commander Ron Keigan said the Legion collects unserviceable, tattered flags from community members. Those flags are traditionally destroyed in the proper manner on June 14, which is Flag Day. Keigan said the ceremony was postponed this year due to inclement weather.
Since last year, Keigan said the post collected over 200 flags to dispose of. Following a short ceremony, Legionnaires lit the collection of flags on fire. Keigan said many people are surprised to learn that the proper way to dispose of an unserviceable flag is by burning it. The US flag code states that burning is the preferable way to destroy a flag no longer fit for display.
Legionnaires of Post 191 in Webster City salute as a collection of over 200 flags are destroyed by fire. The local Post regularly collects flags that are no longer fit for display. Once each year, usually on Flag Day, those unserviceable flags are destroyed in the proper manner after a short ceremony.
"It's the patriotic thing to do," Keigan said.
By offering this service to the community, Keigan said he hopes Webster City residents will honor their flags when they can no longer be flown or displayed rather than simply discarding them.