BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Each year, American Legion Post 320 in Maumee hosts a ceremony to properly dispose of worn and tattered flags.
After an American flag no longer serves as an appropriate symbol for the country, according to U.S. Flag Code, it should be destroyed – in a dignified way. The preferred method for that is burning, so that’s what the members of the local American Legion do each year on the Friday before Flag Day, which is always observed on June 14.
“We do it the week before just to have it done ahead of time, so we’re all set for our new year,” said post commander Jim Pauly. “Flag Day starts our new year here.”
According to Pauly, thousands of flags are typically burned throughout the course of the night, and it is the main ceremony for Lucas County.
People who must dispose of their flags are encouraged to bring them to the local American Legion post throughout the year. The post then stores the flags until the ceremony.
Pauly said proper disposal is important to honor the flag rather than just throwing it away.
“It is to honor all Americans with respect for our country’s flag,” Pauly said. “It’s respect for what it stands for, for what it’s gone through, since its inception.”
In attendance at the ceremony were several members of the American Legion, local Boy Scouts and community members. At the end of the ceremony, they spent several hours burning the remainder of the flags.