ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How and Where to Dispose of a US Flag

Updated on December 27, 2015

Proper ways to dispose of a flag of the United States

At work one day, a co-worker saw my son's cub scout popcorn fundraiser and asked if my son's cub scout pack did ceremonies to properly dispose of a US Flag. We don't, but that got me to thinking, who does and where could my co-worker take his worn out flag? When is a flag considered worn out? What are the proper procedures to dispose of a US flag? I will attempt to answer these questions in this article.

The United States Flag Code provides the rules for displaying the flag and how to show respect for the flag of the United States.

Just a quick note though. I have purposely labeled this page US Flag Disposal, as different countries and cultures may have different ways in disposing flags.

Picture is of Tattered American flags awaiting proper disposal at the Mark Lance Armory, June 23, 2011. Photo by Crystal McNairy

When is a flag considered worn out?

The US Flag Code does not give a specific definition of when a flag should no longer be flown and instead disposed. The flag code does use the phrase "no longer a fitting emblem for display" which can be interpretted in many ways. Below is a list of some conditions when a flag is no longer fit to fly:

- stained

- torn

- tattered on the fringes

- faded

- mutilated

- defaced

The flag code also mentions that a flag should never touch anything below it, however, it does not say that if a flag touches the ground it should be disposed. I can see by putting the two statements together where some could come up with the rule. A flag that touches the ground and is still fit to be displayed does not have to be disposed of.

What are the proper disposal procedures for a US flag?

Again, the US Flag Code is vague here in stating:

"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, VFW, picks up where the flag code leaves off and offers this advice on the VFW website:

1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.

2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.

3. Place the folded flag on the fire.

4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.

5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the flag's ashes buried.

6. Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.

There are some documented ceremonies for disposing of a flag the American Legion Ceremony and this Boy Scouts Ceremony are great examples of how to retire a US flag.

An Example of a Flag Disposal Ceremony

Boy Scout Troop 498 conducting a flag retirement ceremony.

Where Can I Take a US Flag to be Disposed

In addition to the sites below, also contact your local Verterans Affairs offices. For example, the City of Columbus, Ohio has drop boxes in several locations where you can drop off your tattered or weathered American Flag.

Where have you disposed of an American Flag?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)