Boy Scouts retire flags in special ceremony

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Boy Scouts prepare to present colors at the flag retirement ceremony Saturday, Nov. 23. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

Boy Scout Troop 319 hosted a United States flag retirement ceremony at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Anza Saturday, Nov. 23. Despite the cold and blustery day, the event was well-attended.

Anza Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1873 members, Boy Scout leaders and Boy Scouts gave short speeches, and the Boy Scouts retired several flags by burning them to ashes, as dictated by tradition.

The colors were presented by veterans and Boy Scouts, the Pledge of Allegiance recited and the event got underway.

According the Boy Scout Handbook, “As a good turn, Scouts can volunteer to help replace faded and tattered flags in their communities and to conduct flag retirement ceremonies for those that have been taken down.”

The flags were deposited into a barrel for incineration.

According to Page 76 of the BSA Handbook, “A national flag that is worn beyond repair may be burned in a fire. The ceremony should be conducted with dignity and respect, and the flag burned completely to ashes.”

The Boy Scouts maintained a vigil over the fire until no traces of the flag remnants remained. Then the ashes were collected to be buried.

Refreshments of cookies, cupcakes, vegetables, and cheese and fruit trays were served afterward inside the church.

More flag retirement ceremonies will be held throughout the year. For more information, visit Boy Scout Troop 319 at www.facebook.com/troop319.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.