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American flag retirement ceremony Friday at SWFL Military Museum & Museum

By Staff | Jun 12, 2019

Is that American flag hanging outside your house getting worn and tattered?

If so, Cape Coral residents can bring their American flags to the SWFL Military Museum & Library at 9 a.m., Friday, June 14, to be properly retired.

American Legion Post 90, along with Boy Scout Troop 777, is holding a flag retirement ceremony to show the public the proper way to dispose of your flag and to pay respect to those flags after their time serving their post has ended.

“We’re collecting used and tattered flags for a proper retirement ceremony,” said Dennis Stebbins of American Legion Post 90.

The proper way to retire an American flag is by burning it, contrary to the negative images seen of flag burnings in culture.

The flags to be retired will be burned in the museum parking lot in a closed, controlled container.

According to the United States Flag Code: “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.” The Flag Code does not actually give specifics on how to destroy the flag. One should use common sense making sure the procedure is in good taste and shows no disrespect for the flag. Many of the following organizations have collections in your local community to collect and perform a flag burning ceremony: American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Mayor, City Hall or other patriotic organizations.

The Boy Scouts will be collecting flags from the public and participating in the ceremony along with the American Legion Post 90 Color Guard and Honor Guard, who will present colors and 21-gun salute.

“This is a great opportunity for educating the general public to see the proper destruction of the flag,” said Stebbins.

The Cape Coral Police and Fire Departments will also be in attendance. The CCFD will have a truck on site with tours available for children. The CCPD will have a SWAT cruiser and K9s at the museum, along with fingerprinting for children.

The Boy Scouts will also be selling bottled water for $1.

“Anybody can bring their flag,” said Stebbins. “It’s important to give the flag its proper due in a retirement ceremony.”

Stebbins said the American Legion Post 90 collects over 1,000 flags per year for retirement.

Free guided museum tours will be offered following the ceremony.

If you are not able to attend Friday’s ceremony, you can always drop off your flags to the American Legion, VFW or SWFL Military Museum & Library.

The SWFL Military Museum & Library is at 4820 Leonard St., in Cape Coral.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj