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What To Do With a Flag Unsuitable for Flying

PHOTO: With the Fourth of July nearing, veteran groups say if you have a flag that's tattered or damaged, now is a good time to replace it. There is also proper etiquette for disposing of the old flag. CREDIT: FourStuarts
PHOTO: With the Fourth of July nearing, veteran groups say if you have a flag that's tattered or damaged, now is a good time to replace it. There is also proper etiquette for disposing of the old flag. CREDIT: FourStuarts
July 1, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. - As Minnesotans prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, the Stars and Stripes will fly across the state - but for some of those flags, it may be time for a replacement.

According to Bill Tomford with the Long Prairie American Legion, if your flag is tattered, torn, faded or frayed, you should take it to a local veterans' group, such as the American Legion or the VFW.

"And the veterans organizations every year have a proper flag disposal ceremony," he said.

Tomford joined the National Guard when he was 17 and from there enlisted in the Army and spent time in Germany, Vietnam and Korea. He said with that service, he knows how important the flag is as a symbol for our nation.

"That flag, to any veteran as far as I know is ... we kind of went to war, we fought for that flag," he declared. "And that flag basically stands for our freedoms here in the United States, which are many."

Under the U.S. Flag Code, the flags are disposed of in the ceremony through burning. However, for flags that may be dirty or have small tears, washing is appropriate and it's also acceptable to make minor repairs.

More information is at bit.ly/150i1kF.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN