Re: Flag retiring
Ronald W. Fox (ronfox@MINDSPRING.COM)
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 21:49:55 -0500
At 11:39 PM 2/23/1997 UT, you wrote:
>My name is Ron Morgan, I am a Boy Scout leader in Utah. Lately the push from
>our local council is to not have flag retiring ceremonies at our Junior Leader
>Training camps. They have been very sacred experiences in the past, but I
>understand the VFW has asked BSA to do them without ceremony in a private
>setting. Is this true? Do you have any information on what the proper way to
>retire a flag is? Should it be done in private or can we have a special
>ceremony to do it?
Sorry about quoting the whole message, folks. And, my apologies to the non-USA
Scouters on the list for taking up bandwidth on this issue.
1) The following is the entire text of all current U.S. law governing how to
retire U.S. Flags:
Title 36, Chapter 10, Section 176, Paragraph k;
"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."
2) Neither the VFW nor any other organization has authority to interpret
or extend U.S. law regarding the U.S. flag for other organizations or for
the public at large.
3) There is no commentary in the law regarding what is to be considered as
"dignified". I am old enough to remember the funeral of John F. Kennedy.
It was witnessed by hundreds of millions and was televised, but I daresay
few would say it was undignified.
4) I believe that the Boy Scouts of America in general, and U.S. Scouters
individually, are perfectly well qualified to judge what is dignified and
what isn't, and need no help from the VFW or anyone else. Additionally,
they are probably far more well qualified than the VFW in judging what will
stir the feelings of patriotism in a young boy's heart.
Finally, for those who would like a good source for information about American
Flags, I suggest you call your Congressman or Congresswoman and ask for a copy
of "Our Flag", House Document 100-247. It contains the entire text of the U.S.
Flag Code, plus well illustrated histories of the U.S. Flags, information about
state flags, etc. As an official publication of the U.S. Congress, and given
that it has the complete U.S. Flag Code, it is an authoritative guide to use
when confronted with issues such as that above.
Scoutmaster, Troop 69, Des Plaines Valley Council (W&SW Chicago Suburbs)
Pachsegink Lodge 246 | >>>------> |
"... and a good old Eagle, too" (C-19-96)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City