Texas Post Gives Flags a Proper Retirement

'They bring flags to us because they know we will take care of them properly'

Cub Scouts and members of VFW Post 1799 in Tyler, Texas, participated in a flag retirement ceremony on Flag Day, June 14.

Texas VFW Post works with a local Cub Scout troop to properly dispose of flags
Cub Scouts from Pack 359 in Tyler, Texas, participate in VFW Post 1799’s flag retirement ceremony on Flag Day, June 14. Participating in the ceremony, according to Post 1799 Commander J.R. Nielson, was a way for the “leaders of tomorrow” to learn how to properly take care of unserviceable U.S. flags. Photo by Andy Urban/VFW Post 1799.
Post 1799 Commander J.R. Nielson, an Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Shield in Turkey, said holding flag retirement ceremonies are a way to “respectfully” dispose of unserviceable U.S. flags.

“Part of our duty at VFW is to provide this service to our community,” Nielson said. “On Flag Day, we take all the flags that we have collected from the community to honorably dispose of them. They bring flags to us because they know we will take care of them properly.”

To expand the ceremony, members of VFW 1799 called on the local Cub Scout Pack 359 to help with this patriotic endeavor. Nielson said the Cub Scouts learned firsthand how to organize a flag retirement ceremony.

“The Packs of today are our leaders of tomorrow,” Nielson said. “If we instill a sense of Americanism and patriotism now at their early age, it will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Having them be an integral part of our ceremony is a very important part of them learning.”

Because of the organization’s long history with the U.S. flag, VFW has recommended procedures for disposal. According to VFW standards, flags must be folded in a customary manner, much the same as it would be for a funeral detail. Then, the flag should be placed on a fairly large fire, which is sufficient enough to ensure the total consumption of the flag. 

For more information on flag etiquette, visit vfw.org/community/flag-etiquette.