Re: Burning the American Flag
Leslie D. Fife (ldfife@BACHMAN.CS.OU.EDU)
Wed, 21 Aug 1996 09:24:15 -0500
> Jerry Fochtman wrote:
> > On Thu, 22 Aug 1996 16:03:32 PST Blair T Johnson <blair100@JUNO.COM> wrote:
> >I went to a 2 night cub scout campout. The second night there we burned
> >the American Flag. While it was burning some of us (mostly us girls,
> >sisters) said why the American Flag was important and what it meaned to
> >us. We had a good time. I think what it meant to the little boys, was a
> >flag in the burning. They really enjoyed watching blue, red, and white
> Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood that burning an
> American flag was suppose to be done as a solemn event by a single
> individual and not as a part of any type of gathering. If done as a group
> it could imply that getting together and burning a flag is an 'OK' thing to
> do. What can easily be lost in the process is the condition of the flag
> I'm sure the ceremony was done well, but could the enjoyment of 'watching blue
> red and white sparks' also leave an impression that burning a flag can be
> fun and enjoyable also, something to share with friends, and thereby perhaps
> chipping away at the respect it deserves?
Like all things, it depends. In the past couple of years, I have been
One was at Scout Camp. The closing of the final campfire included the
of a single flag. All of us Vets were invited to come up front. Then
invited to state our branch and period of service. Then a single flage
brought out, and burned on the campfire. Then each troop filed away
to their own campsite.
On flag day (June 14 in the USA) we retired about 50 flags. All the
participated. Several parents were there to observe. The ceremony was
and dignified. At the conclusion, Taps were played. While out in the
a lone vehicle did come by. The man stopped his car in the road, got
out of his
car, and stood at attention until we were done. He later wrote a letter
editor of the local paper that I will always cherish. This is even hard
In both cases, this was not done as a "fun" thing. It was a lesson in
and patriotism. I think when done appropriately as a group, those
have a deeper and lasting respect for the Flag.
I know this group is international, and I wonder. How are National
cared for, and disposed of in other countries?
> I feel it would be better to have a ceremony whereby there is a 'final
> folding' of the flag. If the flag itself is too tattered to be properly
> folded, lay it on a white sheet on a table then fold the sheet and flag
> together. The actual destruction of the flag itself can be done privately
> with respect at a later time.
> -- Jerry
> Democracy is a process by which the people are
> free to choose the person who will get the blame.
> -- Lawrence J. Peter
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City