Flag Retirement Ceremony


“I am your Flag. I appear in many places. I have taken many forms and been called many names. I was authorized by Congress in 1818 in the form you see now and have remained unchanged except to add a new star each July 4th after a new state joined the union until I reached my present number of 50.”

“I am more than just red, white and blue cloth shaped into a design. I am a silent sentinel of freedom. People of every country in the world know me on sight. Many countries love me as you do. Other countries look at me with contempt because they don’t allow the freedom of Democracy that I represent – but country looks on me with respect. I am strong and the people of America have made me strong. My strength comes from your willingness to give help to those who are in need. You strive for world peace yet stand ready to fight oppression. You send resources and offer technology to less fortunate countries so they may strive to become self-sufficient. You feed starving children. You offer a home to anyone who will pledge allegiance to me.”

“Your sons gather beneath me to offer their lives on the battlefields, to preserve the Liberty I represent. That’s why I love the American people. That’s why I have flown so proudly.”

When the United States flag (Old Glory) becomes worn, torn, faded or badly soiled, it is time to replace it with a new flag. The old flag should be “retired” with dignity and respect befitting our nation’s flag. There are two methods of retirement, burial or flame. Burning the flag does not mean that one should simply drop the entire flag (intact) into a fire. When we are retiring a symbol of America’s honor, courage and strength.

The Upper Cumberland District including Pack 156 helps the American Legion Axillary Unit 46 in Cookeville with the flag retirement ceremony the Saturday before Flag Day. Flag day is always on June 14th. This is a truly honorable ceremony to participate in. Many Scouts from different troops, cub scout packs and venturing crews join in the ceremony.

We have also had opportunities to join in some of our local Troop ceremonies. We love joining in these patriotic ceremonies.