Re: Flag Disposal Script
Ben Parker (bparker@INTERACCESS.COM)
Sat, 2 Jul 1994 10:42:45 -0500
This is the flag disposal ceremony we used at the close of our spring
camporee in May. You may copy and repeat or modify as you choose.
(Ahead of time, we asked for volunteers from Armed Forces Veterans we knew
were present to make up the 'flag team' and the 'reader'.)
(The campfire was settled by pausing for a quiet moment. Then the leader
introduced the ceremony by asking all former and current members of our
armed forces to assemble around the fire. The 'reader' then read out the
following script. While this was being read, the 'flag team' proceeded
to cut the flags (we did 3 this time) horizontally along the bottom of
the blue field (to make a red/white stripe section) then cut out the blue
field from the top portion. You now have 3 pieces of colored cloth,
which may be burned. You NEVER burn a complete flag.)
(I digress at this point. Some people insist the cloth pieces should be
folded before being placed in the fire. However, having done this a
number of times, I have noticed that folded cloth does not burn well, or
completely, often needing to be poked, prodded, shuffled, etc. to burn.
The is true of both cotton and nylon (synthetic) fabric. Nylon
especially likes to melt together into an unburnable blob. Therefore I have
always requested to 'flag team' (at least 2 people) NOT to fold the cloth
pieces but rather to place them over the fire, unfolded, so as to
maximize the chance they will burn completely and cleanly, without need
for any further assistance. By waiting until 1 piece is consumed before
putting another on, the ceremony comes off with maximum impression of
appropriate respect for the symbol of our country.)
This is the reading (source unknown to me, but somebody must have written it!)
I Am Your Flag
I was born on June 14, 1777.
I am more than just cloth shaped into a design.
I am the refuge of the world's oppressed people.
I am the silent sentinel of freedom.
I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth.
I am the inspiration for which American patriots gave their lives and
I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge,
to the cold wet beaches of Normandy,
to the steaming, treacherous jungles of Vietnam,
and the hot, dry sands of the Persian Gulf.
I walk in silence with each of your honored dead,
to their final resting place beneath the silent white crosses.
I have flown through peace and war, strife and prosperity,
and amidst it all I have been respected.
My red stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this
My white stripes signify the burning tears shed by Americans
who have lost their sons.
My blue field is indicative of God's heaven under which I fly.
My stars, clustered together, unify 50 states as one, for God and Country.
"Old Glory" is my nickname, and proudly I wave on high.
Honor me, respect me, defend me with your lives and fortunes.
Never let my enemies tear me down from my lofty position,
lest I never return.
Keep alight the fires of patriotism, strive earnestly for
the spirit of democracy.
Worship Eternal God and keep His commandments, and I shall remain
the bulwark of peace and freedom for all people.
After another few moments of silence, we closed the campfire by singing Taps.
Ben Parker firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
ASM T-16 (founded 1916)* Beavers are Busy! (C-22W)* Pachsegink Lodge 246
District PR Comm* Council Camping Promotion Comm* Eagle Scout Class of 1962
805 S Elmwood Ave, Oak Park, IL 60304 708/386-6578 fax:708/386-5067
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