Boy Scouts honoring Flag Day by retiring, replacing banners|[6/12/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 13, 2005

A local Boy Scout troop has begun taking orders to properly retire and replace worn U.S. flags displayed outdoors as a service and fund-raiser.

Troop 7, sponsored by Knights of Columbus Council 898, is offering the service in advance of this year’s Flag Day, Tuesday, said assistant Scoutmaster Dan Fordice.

“We will have three boys come out and do a proper ceremony,” Fordice said of the flag-retirement the Scouts perform.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The Scouts have been training as color-guard teams and performed their first retirement of a worn flag at McCoy’s Building Supply Center, 4400 E. Clay St., about two weeks ago. They folded the tattered banner and removed it for proper destruction later, probably at a campout, Fordice said. One way to properly destroy a flag is by burning it.

Besides active or retired military units, the Scouts are the only organization approved to perform such retirement ceremonies. And Troop 7 is the only organization in Vicksburg currently performing the service, Fordice said.

The cost of the service is $35 and includes a new, three-foot-by-five-foot flag that is designed to last 9 to 12 months, Fordice said. Orders for the service may be placed with troop parent and project coordinator Janet Anderson at 601-661-7711.

“What I found is that most people and businesses don’t know how to dispose of their flags,” said Fordice, who added that the idea for the service came to him after seeing a worn flag flying on a pole outside a local bank branch.

Troop 7 plans to have three to four teams of Scouts available to perform the ceremonies beginning this week, Fordice said. The troop plans to continue offering the service indefinitely, he added.

June 14 was designated Flag Day by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in 1907.

“The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the order’s observance of Flag Day for its patriotic expression,” Elks information says. “But it was not until 1949 when President Harry Truman, himself a member of the Elks, made the proclamation that thereafter June 14 would be a day of national observance for the symbol of our country.”