By: Terry Simpson
Did you know that a flag must be burnt when it becomes too tattered to fly?
Of course, this task needs to be completed in the correct way according to flag etiquette, which begins with the retirement of the flag.
The United States Flag Code, Title 4, section 8 states that “The flag, when it is in a condition that is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”
Yet, even if one knew this information, how would they go about retiring their flags? Unfortunately, a lot of people simply throw them in the trash.
Monroe County Circuit Clerk Kim Hagan recently noticed that Monroe County did not seem to have a retirement box for these flags and wanted to get the information out to citizens on correct procedures.
“I was at a convention and I noticed they had flag donation boxes set up. I had never heard of that. I wanted to have one built and put out on the street with 24-hour access.”
She noted that the Justice Center is required to replace their flags twice a year and a stack of them has built up in her office. She wanted to dispose of those as well as help anyone in the county who had flags of their own that they were not sure of how to dispose of properly.
She was visited by Gamaliel resident and history buff Chad Comer. When asked his opinion, he told Hagan that he thought the idea would make a great 4-H or school project for students, like his own son, John Morgan.
Hagan noted her appreciation to the Comers, saying, “He said he was going to build something, and I thought, I bet he will buy one and tell me it was donated. He is just that kind of guy.”
That is exactly what Comer did, with the help of his son. They placed the box in Hagan’s office noting, “The retirement box is for all flags, state and federal, indoor or outdoor. If you have such a flag, bring to the retirement box and we will dispose of them properly.”
The father-son duo will collect the flags from the box and retire them correctly as the box becomes full.
If you have flags you need to retire or for more information on the boxes, go by or call the Justice Center 270-487-5480.
Another donation box is also located in the Monroe County Fiscal Court and Judge-executive Mitchell Page’s office.