Flag-Burning Etiquette

According to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, when American flags get old, they should be burned instead of being thrown in the trash:

Flag Disposal

1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.

2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.

3. Place the flag on the fire.

4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.

5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.

6. Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 04, 2018
     Category: Etiquette and Formal Behavior | Flags

It's ironic that people get so riled up about flag burning. Around here, the VFW has repurposed mailboxes that you're supposed to deposit worn-out flags in. Presumably they burn them when no one's around to get upset. I wonder how you're supposed to dispose of nylon flags.

FWIW, it's illegal to sell imported U.S. flags in Minnesota. That's why Harbor Freight's ads say "not available in MN."
Posted by ges on 07/04/18 at 11:06 AM
I used to know a retired fireman who said people would leave flags off at the station to be burned. They would say they'd take care of it for them, then throw them in the trash when no one was around.
Posted by Old Whitebelly on 07/04/18 at 11:54 AM
During my time as scoutmaster, I was given several worn out flags. We woul do flag retirement ceremonies at camp outs.
Posted by crc on 07/04/18 at 09:00 PM
Flag desecration statutes were held to be unconstitutional on freedom of expression grounds at least partly because of the existence of such etiquette rules. In essence, whether you could be prosecuted for flag burning depended on your stated reason for doing so. Pretty clearly a freedom of speech issue.
Posted by Frank P on 07/06/18 at 09:37 AM
At any rate, this worship of a piece of cloth does get a bit disturbing, from an outside POV.
Posted by Richard Bos on 07/07/18 at 06:17 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.