THERE COMES A TIME in each
American flag’s life when it may
become tattered and no longer
suitable for service.
For a Flag Day ceremony in
June, held at Oakdale Cemetery near downtown
Wilmington, Taylor’s Boy Scouts troop and the
SAR and DAR local chapters participated in a flag-retirement
“Once they’ve become tattered, they need to
be disposed of properly,” says Eric Kozen, Oakdale
Cemetery superintendent. “It’s all a part of flag
The Boy Scouts, DAR and SAR retired more than
100 flags during the ceremony. The flags were cut
into strips, separating the stars from the stripes.
Then, those strips were placed in a barrel to be
burned. Once cooled, the ashes of the retired flags
were scattered around the base of the flagpole in
Taylor recently completed an Eagle Scout project
to modify this last step of the flag-retirement cer-emony.
Now, the ashes will be gathered and placed
Troop 232’s Tab Taylor (front)
and Benjamin Hutsell pick up
flags at Oakdale Cemetery for a
retirement ceremony on Flag Day
in June. Proper disposal includes
cutting the flags into strips and
burning them in a barrel.
inside a wooden casket that he constructed and
placed in Oakdale Cemetery.
“I hope this casket will be used for many years to come,” the recent Noble Middle
School graduate says. “I will personally maintain it for as long as I can.”
The Flag Day ceremony is something organizers hope will become an annual event.
“This is a very patriotic service that we should all be in attendance for,” Kozen says. “We
always want something nice gracing our homes, but when it becomes tired, it’s time for
it to be retired, respectfully and with honor.”
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stand in front
of a wooden
holds the ashes
of retired flags.
the casket as
an Eagle Scout