The flag retirement we did for our neighborhood Ford Dealership went quite well. The whole ceremony only lasted about 30 minutes. It was pretty cool, the fire department showed up and we even got our picture in the local newspaper!
If you are interested in the ceremony that we used, the link is below. By all means please use, reuse and make any modifications you would need to do your own ceremony.
The boys could have used a little more practice, it was not perfect but our audience did not know any better. Good thing, right! I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. At this point, we have a plan, try to execute and learn by what did not go so well. The scouts also learn how to put on a great ceremony in front of a lot of strangers, this is a good thing. We all learn by doing.
The flag that we retired for the Dealership was 15×25 feet, I took the flag home that night and started to take out all the stitching so we could burn it in smaller pieces. As I was a few hours into this process, I started to think, “what a waste of material, I wonder if I could re-purpose any of the fabric for another purpose.” So, I went on line and found that others have made mementos or awards with some remnants of the flag. At the following troop meeting I asked the scouts and our parents if anyone had any concerns with me re purposing the flag into mementos and awards for the scouts.
We talked about when a flag ceases to be a flag when the stitching is removed and retired from flying to represent our nation. With the stitching removed, the adults from the troop believe that if we can reuse the pieces for mementos or awards, it would be a great reminder as the scouts get older, of what their nations flag means to them.
I am in process now of coming up with a really nice memento for the scouts, especially the ones that did the ceremony for this particular flag. So stay tuned, I will be sharing what I came up with in a future blog.
Then on Veterans day the Troop put on a flag retirement for the flags we collected during the past year. We were able to put 25 natural fiber flags to rest that night.
If you are interested in our script for our ceremony, click here!
We still have about 15 nylon flags that we need to disassemble and get ready for recycling. As soon as we get some time we will get the rest of these flags retired.
I did see on line that another troop made like an old mail box just for flags to be retired, it seems like a good idea. I would like to know if they ever have any issues with people putting other items in the box besides just flags to be retired. Will have to research this one again.
If you are interested in purchasing a US flag, here is a list of sites. For comparison a 3×5 cotton flag cost, at the time of this blog, is after the link.
I hope this has helped in some way. If you are a leader, just remember you can never practice too much! LOL!
Yours In Scouting,
Mrs. Scoutmaster Irene
PS. Check out my story here!