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Old U.S. Flags Disposed of in Ceremony at Alexandria VFW

The Simon-Gosney American Legion Post 219 in Alexandria hosted a flag disposal ceremony earlier this week for old, tattered U.S. flags.

It was held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3205 at 8261 Alexandria Pike.

"We decided Veteran's day would be the best time to have the ceremony, but it was in the middle of the week, so we then said it would be good to hold it the weekend before," said Jim McClaren, the newly appointed public relations chairperson for the post. "We really lucked out on the weather. It was beautiful!"

The American Legion passed a resolution in September of 1937 about flag ceremonies, and they have been holding them ever since. According to the resolution, the method of retiring the flags specifically says they have to be burned to ashes and the ashes buried. Any other method of destruction is called desecration.

The flags that are no longer serviceable are presented to the Legion Commanders, who inspect them. Then a color guard presents the colors, and a chaplain offers prayers. The flags are put on poles and put into a fire that has been started for this purpose. 

A bugler blows "Taps".

-Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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