Have you ever heard that if a United States Flag touches the ground that it has to be burned? What happens to tired or flags that are no longer in condition to be flown? Can you put them in the trash?

What you should do is to have them respectfully retired. How do you do that? You look for an organization (most commonly the Boy Scouts or the American Legion) that will be performing a retirement ceremony and you give them your flags to be retired. When will there be one of these ceremonies in the Hudson Valley?

What does a United States Flag Retirement Ceremony consist of ?

American flag
Getty Images/iStockphoto
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The flag retirement ceremony does consist of properly destroying the flag, either burying or burning. While the most common way to retire a flag is through burning you will need to make sure that the fabric your flag is made out of will not emit foul chemicals when it is enflamed. While the flag is being burned, the Pledge of Allegiance is read aloud. At no time should the flag touch the ground.

Is there a place that you can drop the flags off until the retirement ceremony?

Photo by Roman Koester on Unsplash
Photo by Roman Koester on Unsplash
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While there is a Flag Retirement ceremony taking place in Hyde Park, NY on June 11, (more info on that below) you can also reach out to your local Boy Scouts of America and Chapter of the American Legion, they will accept your damaged flags and hold onto them until the next retirement ceremony.

Should you fold your flag a certain way before you hand it over for retirement?

Military personnel holding a folded US flag.
Bluberries
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Yes, there is a certain way you need to fold a flag. The flags are folded in half length-wise, once, then again. Then starting at the bottom of the flag (the striped end) you start folding the flag in triangles until you reach the stars. When the triangles are all covered in the stars, you then tuck the flap in, to form a nicely folded triangle, seeing only stars.

When and where is the Hyde Park, NY Flag Retirement Ceremony?

Flags 1 (Napa)
Bill Chizek
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The flag retirement ceremony that will be taking place in Hyde Park, NY will be held at the Hackett Hill Park, 59 E Main St, Hyde Park. The many ceremonies will take place over the course of a few hours, 2 PM to 6 PM. You do not have to make a reservation or pay a fee.

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