Burning unserviceable flags

JONESVILLE — What do you do with a flag of the United States of America when it has become worn, faded and torn?

You don’t just throw it in the trash, you burn it, but only as part of what the American Legion calls an “Unserviceable Flags Ceremony.”

American Legion Post 129 in Jonesville is planning on holding an Unserviceable Flags Ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 1 and is setting up two collection points in the town for residents of the Jonesville community who have worn, faded and torn flags to drop them off for disposal during the ceremony.

Post 129 members Mark Adams and Tommy Ivey said that the collection points will be set up at the American Legion Post which is in the same building as the Jonesville Fire Department and in front of the Depot Street Coffee Shop at 114 Depot St. in Jonesville.

They pointed out that when there is a holiday or public event in Jonesville which requires US Flags to be placed along the town’s street, it is Post 129 that places them. Adams and Ivey said that the post currently has a number of flags that have become worn, faded and torn and are therefore unserviceable and must be disposed of. They said the post had been discussing holding an Unserviceable Flags Ceremony and during those discussions it was decided that the public should be invited to turn in their unserviceable flags for disposal along with the post’s flags.

“This is for American flags that are faded, tattered and torn, that are unserviceable,” Adams said. “People can go out and see if they’ve got a flag that needs to be properly disposed of.”

Adams and Ivey stressed that the ceremony is for US flags only.

“We’re just going to do American flags,” Adams said. “No state flags, no Confederate flags, no flags in general. Just American flags only.”

While the main purpose of the planned Unserviceable Flags Ceremony is to properly dispose of worn, faded and torn flags, Adams and Ivey said it is hoped that the ceremony will help educate the public about both the proper way to dispose of unserviceable flags and about the American Legion itself.

“It’s actually a ceremony, a process about burning them,”Adams said. “It’s the right way, it’s the only way. A lot of people think you can just throw it in the trash and that’s not right.

“Proper flag disposal is part of the services of the American Legion,” he said. “We’ve been talking about this a lot for quite some time and it came up as a service to the community and to hopefully educate the public.”

Adams and Ivey said the ceremony is also part of the post’s efforts to inform the public, especially veterans in the community, about its existence and the help it can provide the community’s veterans.

“We want to let people know there is an American Legion Post here in Jonesville,” Adams said. “We want to let our veterans know that we are here if they need assistance with things like VA (Veterans Administration) issues.

“We meet the last Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Jonesville Fire Department,” he said. “Any veteran in the community is welcome to attend the meeting and have the opportunity to join.”

For more information about American Legion Post 129 contact Mark Adams at 864-426-8118.

For more information about “The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags” approved by the American Legion and about the American Legion itself, go to www.legion.org.