Maumee American Legion Honors And Properly Disposes Of Worn Flags

On June 10, American Legion Post 320 in Maumee disposed of thousands of American flags during the annual ceremony. Several members of the community were in attendance along with American Legion members, including (from left) Ray Schlagheck, Felipe Padilla, Richard Cymbola, Charles Jones, Jim Pauly and Harold Savage. MIRROR PHOTOS BY KRISTI FISH
The burning of the flags lasted several hours, with many volunteering to assist. Chris Hade (left) and Mike Brown started burning several flags immediately following the ceremony.

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.

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