Boy Scouts retire old American flags

Many Americans spent last Monday, which also happened to be Veterans’ Day, honoring the United States Military servicemen and women, but the Scouts of Troops 921 and 959, along with one Cub Scout from Pack 904, went a step further. The scouts, following their attendance of the annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony on the Stevens County Courthouse lawn, spent several hours in Yep Kanum Park retiring over 90 flags, which had been collected from throughout the community. Each flag was carefully folded according to proper flag etiquette, and then carried reverently, one at a time, to a fire pit. The flags were then unfolded for a final salute and laid to rest over the flames. Scouts held their salute until the flag was completely burned. “What was kind of funny is how many people passing by the activity were obviously agitated by the burning of the flags even though the boys were being very reverent and ceremonious,” said Troop 921’s assistant scout leader. “Many people lack an understanding of the proper protocol for retiring flags. Being sensitive to the on-looker’s distress, we quickly helped them understand why we were burning the flags in order to alleviate their concerns. The boys did great in this community service. They (scouts) were cold, and it was a long process for so many flags, but it was a great way to heighten their awareness about the honor and dignity our great flag deserves.” According to the United States Flag Code, "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." When the United States flag becomes worn, torn, faded or badly soiled, it is time to replace it with a new flag, and the old flag should be "retired." The scouts who participated were Anthony Paccerelli, Mikey Paccerelli, Austin Floener, Mason Floener, Ben Elliott, Tyler Elliott, Aaron Hegney, Jesse Sarber, Matthew Pierce, Michael Tobler, and Dakota Sahota.