scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Flag Day
Stu Allen (allensr@FRONTIERNET.NET
Fri Jun 23 2000 - 13:31:15 CDT
> << Why do we cut the flag? The statement is so that the flag as a whole
> is not burned. Is it right? I don't know, but I do know it's an
> impressive ceremony. >>
> No, it's not right. Burning is the prescribed method for disposing of a flag
> - a whole flag. Cutting the flag seems to me to be defacing it, which,
> though constitutionaly protected, is not the mood I think we want when
> retiring a worn flag. As to impressive, I've never seen cutting done, but
> the ceremonies I have seen, without pausing to cut, certainly have been.
Hmmm. Well, as has been previously quoted I think, the Flag Code states:
"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."
Nothing about "burning in one piece". :-)
A little over a year ago our pack held a flag retirement ceremony during
a campfire at our council's cub resident camp. I had the honor of
serving as narrator for the ceremony, which our Webelos Den Leader had
created by taking the best ideas from several other ceremonies.
During the ceremony we separated the union from the stripes, and then
each stripe from the others. As each stripe was removed from the flag
and placed on the fire I read a paragraph from the ceremony. (I know,
I know, it loses a LOT without the actual script!) The union was
placed on last.
There was certainly nothing disrespectful about our ceremony, and
several of the others scripts I've seen use the same idea.
Is cutting necessary for an impressive ceremony? Certainly not.
I still remember the ceremony that was conducted at a camp fire at
summer camp when I was probably 13 or 14 -- and that's really good
for me; I generally don't remember much of anything!
But I also know that we had about 30 1st - 5th grade boys and their
parents who sat silently and reverently for at least 30 minutes and
watched the ceremony we put on -- and anyone who's been a Cub Scout
leader will attest to what a feat THAT is! :-)
I also had several parents come up to me either later that night or
the next morning and tell me that they'd never seen a flag retirement,
and that they were moved by it.
I know that I was.
Stu Allen email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WDL/COR Pack/Troop 92