Re: US Flag Retirement
Ed Darrell (EDarr1776@AOL.COM)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 19:00:02 -0400
I have in some old notes I took as a Scout 30 years ago or so that there were
*three* organizations authorized to write rules of flag etiquette beyond what
is found in the Flag Code. The three were reputed to be the American Legion,
the U.S. Marine Corps, and the B.S.A.
I have been unable to find any reference that verifies that in the ensuing 30
So, I would guess that the story that there are "four" organizations who may
retire flags comes from a similar modern urban myth.
Anyone may retire a flag. The flag code says only that it should be done in
a respectful manner (you can check out the code at several different web
sites). There is no requirement that flags be cut up before burning, there
is no requirement even that the flag be burned -- either cutting or burning
may be appropriate by itself.
The single best source of flag information I have found is the trusty old
Scout publication, "Your Flag." The copy I have right now is a 1981
printing, which shows it as publication no. 3188. It is available in every
Scout Shop I've been in. Contributors to the pamphlet include the Navy, the
Marines, the Flag Heritage Foundation in Lexington, Mass., Annin & Co. (flag
manufacturers), The Army Institute of Herldry, the Department of Defense, the
U.S. Flag Foundation of New York City, and Dettra Flag Co.
Every troop library should have a copy.
Ed Darrell, Duncanville, Texas
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City