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Daily Newscasts

What Do You Do With a Flag Unsuitable For Flying?

June 11, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa - With Flag Day coming up Friday, it is a good time to see if your flag needs repairs or replacement. According to the U.S. Flag Code, any flag that is beyond repair needs to be disposed of in a respectful manner; throwing it in the trash is not an option.

According to Reo Menning, public affairs director with Metro Waste Authority, one option doesn't involve disposing of the flag at all.

"You can wash your flag, and, in fact, washing it can prolong its life. Most outdoor flags can be hand-washed or they can be dry-cleaned, and it's also acceptable to make minor repairs as long as it's not real conspicuous."

Menning said that when a flag is no longer serviceable it should be destroyed with a formal flag retirement ceremony where it's incinerated. She said several organizations do that.

"You can drop your flag off at the American Legion, which usually has collections," she suggested. "So does the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Girl Scouts typically have a flag disposal option available as well. But if you are looking to do it at home you can seal the flag in a box or a bag and bury it or burn it in a respectful private ceremony."

Menning said flags with large tears or excessive fraying should be retired and new flags raised on Flag Day.

Richard Alan, Public News Service - IA