American Flag Disposal Service from Flags.com
FLAGS.COM FLAG DISPOSAL SERVICE RETURNS FOR CUSTOMERS ONLY
Customers are once again welcome to send Flags.com their worn and retired American made flags so they can be disposed of properly.
Flying American flags is a constitutional right and a privilege that Americans do not take for granted. Showing pride and love to our great nation, while honoring the men and women who have fought and are currently fighting for our freedom is just a small part of why we fly the United States flag. The US flag is a living entity and is treated as such. It has its own code and guidelines written to protect the integrity of the flag.
While the flag is a living thing and represents a living country, it definitely takes a beating from the weather, especially wind, rain, snow, and the sun, and thus becomes tattered and not suitable for flying any longer. The process to retire and dispose of the American flag is unknown to most, as well as time-consuming. The ceremony must be done in the correct way with the flag folded or cut properly. Flags.com has taken it upon ourselves to be a responsible source of disposing of your United States of America flags in the correct way and to uphold the US flag code.
Please send your retired USA flags to our address below. (This is a free service for Flags.com customers, you just pay to ship the flags.)
Attn: Flag Disposal
263 NE 5th Ave
Delray Beach, FL 33483
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY FLAG SHOULD BE RETIRED?
The American flag represents a living country and it is disrespectful to fly a flag that is worn out. Retire your flag if it is tattered, worn or faded. To get the most fly time out of your flag, bring it indoors during inclement weather and don’t fly it during evening hours when it won’t be seen.
HOW DO YOU DISPOSE OF AN AMERICAN FLAG AT HOME?
CEREMONIAL BURN (with optional shredding)
Burning the flag is considered to be the most ceremonial method of disposal, according to the U.S. Flag Code. Ideally, you’ll need adequate space, time, and privacy to ensure the flag is burned completely and discreetly. First, fold the flag properly. If you don’t know how to fold the American flag, see our step-by-step folding instructions at the bottom of this article. After the flag is folded, place it on a prepared bonfire. You can pay tribute while it burns by saluting, reciting the pledge of allegiance, or singing the national anthem.
If you don’t have space, time or privacy to build a bonfire, disassemble the American flag and then burn the individual pieces. To do this, use a pair of scissors to separate the starfield from the stripes. Leave the starfield intact and cut each stripe so they are independently separated. Then, burn the pieces one-by-one in a smaller fire.
Pros of Burning: Preferred method of the U.S. Flags Code, the most ceremonial method
Cons of Burning: Can be messy and it’s not environmentally friendly; burning nylon flags can emit hazardous gases
First, fold the flag properly. If you don’t know how to fold the American flag, see our step-by-step folding instructions. After the flag is folded, place it in a ceremonial wooden box. Stand at attention or observe a moment of silence as the box is lowered into the earth. You may also mark the burial site with a patriotic marker, but this is not required.
Pros of Burial: Environmentally responsible, generally safe for persons of all ages
Cons of Burial: Considered less ceremonial, no one likes to dig holes
TELL US ABOUT YOUR DISPOSAL!
Are you planning on retiring your flag? We would love it if you would document and share your disposal ceremony with us. Please tag us on social media so we can share your disposal photos and videos with other Flags.com patriots! Just tag @FLAGSDOTCOM on social media.
THE CORRECT METHOD FOR FOLDING THE US FLAG
Fold the lower striped section of the flag over the blue field.
Folded edge is then folded over to meet the open edge.
A triangular fold is then started by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open edge.
Outer point is then turned inward parallel with the open edge to form a second triangle.
Triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in the triangular shape with only the blue field visible.
Watch an actual flag retirement ceremony at the American Legion!
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