There are a few times each year when I love to wave our flag in remembrance of the heritage that makes us free. The Fourth of July is certainly one of those times.
Not so much the physical act of waving the flag ... I fly a flag everyday at my home. But rather showing a deep sense of pride in living under our flag and benefiting from the freedoms our country provides our citizens.
Included in this sense of pride is being certain that our flag is being flown respectfully and especially that our flag is retired properly when the fabric becomes tattered or worn.
According to The United States Flag Code, "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."
Please don't be confused!
This is not "burning the flag" ... rather it is respectfully retiring the flag, using flame to completely consume the material.
My Store entrusts me with the proper retirement of flags ... a duty I accept with pride.
Preparing the flag to be respectfully retired is a labor of love ... first the stars are removed from the field of blue, and then the stripes are separated into individual colors.
A ceremony is conducted in which the leader may say, "This flag has served its nation well. It is now worn to a condition in which it should no longer be used to represent the nation. Through this flag retirement ceremony, we honor the service rendered by this flag as well as those who have served under it."
Attendees are often invited to take one piece of the of the disassembled flag and place it into a cauldron of fire ... stars first, then stripes, then the field of blue ... until the flag is completely consumed by flame.
So this Fourth of July, when the fireworks a bursting in the early evening sky, take time to remember the words of our National Anthem ... "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."
I'll bet you'll feel like waving the flag too!
And when your flag is worn to a condition that it should no longer represent our country, seek out community-based associations like the Boy Scouts of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, or the American Legion. They will gladly accept the flag for proper, respectful retirement.
You'll find flags online at www.HomeDepot.com (use the key word Flag) and in the Garden Department at the Store.