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What Is the Proper Way to Retire or Dispose a U.S. Flag?

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Flag Day is around the corner, which makes it the perfect time to talk about the proper way to retire an American flag.

What to Do with an Unusable Flag

If your flag is worn out, badly stained or falling apart, here are some ways to respectfully dispose of it:

Drop It Off

  • Many VFW posts and government offices have official flag disposal boxes outside of their buildings where you can drop off any flags.
  • Most American LegionsVFWs and Boy Scout Troops will accept old flags and retire them respectfully in their next flag disposal ceremony. Many hold these ceremonies on Flag Day, so now is the perfect time to contact them!
  • You can also drop flags off at police stations.

Bury It at Home

  • Another option to retire a flag at home is by burying it in a dignified box after folding it properly.

Bring to a Textile Recycler

What To Do With a Usable Flag 

Do you have a flag in working condition that you don’t want or need anymore? Make sure it stays in use! Here’s what you can do with it.

Donate It

  • Flags that are still in usable condition can be donated to a national cemetery or funeral home. These places often use flags in burial ceremonies.
  • You can also mail unwanted 3’ x 5’ flags with embroidered stars to Stars for Our Troops. They cut out the stars and mail them to active military, veterans and first responders as a show of support and respect.
  • If neither of these options work for you, contact an American LegionVFW or Boy Scout Troop to take the flag off your hands.

Happy Flag Day!

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