Re: Flags -Reply
Rodger Morris (rlm@SUNED1.NSWSES.NAVY.MIL)
Wed, 14 Jun 1995 10:52:53 PDT
>The flag lessons in the Scout handbooks that
>I grew up with (1960s) are among the lessons
>that had the most impact on me, and which I
>remember most clearly. They included the
>statement that a flag that is beyond repair
>or further service should be disposed of
>privately. The ceremony you envision is
>such a far cry from what I consider
>"private" that I wonder either what became
>of the original idea or how I had so
>misunderstood it over all of these years.
>The fact that you say you've gotten the idea
>from Scouting magazines, etc., just puzzles
>Jim Dooley, Pack 350, Arlington VA
While the Scout Handbook may indeed have said that in the 1960s, that is not
what the Flag Code of 1942, as amended, says. Herewith the portion of said
code that relates to disposing of American flags that are no longer
serviceable. This is an excerpt from my private E-mail to Jon Lyksett:
>1) According to the Flag Code, adopted by the Congress of the United States of
>America in 1942, and subsequently amended (cf. 1970, Whitney Smith, "The Flag
>Book of the United States", Library of Congress #7886879. Whitney Smith was the
>director of "The Flag Research Center" of Lexington, Massachusetts, where "The
>Shot Heard 'Round The World" was fired in 1775):
>Flag Code, Section 4, Paragraph J:
>"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem
>for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."
>That's it. Period. Full stop. Anything else is a procedural matter that is
>specific to the American Legion and not binding upon other organizations
>and individuals. Similarly, the BSA procedures are proper, provided that they
>are carried out with all due respect for the American flag and what it
>represents. The BSA procedures do not bind other organizations and individuals.
>The Boy Scouts of America quite often cuts the union out of the American flag
>so as not to burn the flag in it's entirety, as the draft protesters and
>anti-war protesters did during the Vietnam War. This is a gesture of respect,
>_not_ a desecration of the flag. This gesture of respect quite deliberately
>distances the BSA from those who would dishonor and desecrate the flag.
>The BSA raises the flag one last time and salutes it before retiring it as
>a gesture of respect to those military members who gave their lives for their
>countrymen and country...
I trust that this will provide a bit of needed information.
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris, email@example.com
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 852, Ventura County Council (CA), BSA
National Woodbadge 416, Philmont, 1973
"I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City