COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Stars and stripes hold a lot of meaning and so does retiring an American flag with respect. That’s why Robert, a scout with Troop 246, wanted to build collection boxes for flags that are too tattered, torn or worn out to be repaired.
“I really didn’t notice anything like that around here and I thought it could be a valuable addition to our community. A lot of peoeple don’t know exactly the correct way to retire an American flag,” said Robert Hammes.
Hammes is a Boy Scout with Troop 246 in Colorado Springs. He’s also the brains behind the idea to build and set up collection boxes for the community. Alan Wesenberg, Troop 246 Committee Chairman, says this is a great thing to offer our community and local veterans.
“It shouldn’t just be put away in an improper manner. It should be disposed of properly,” said Wesenberg.
Wesenberg says while American flags are meant to be used, they also deserve a respectable retirement ceremony.
“We usually prepare that by cutting up the flags themselves by cutting the stars section, that field, apart. And then cutting up the stripes of the white and red and putting them independently,” said Wesenberg.
He says these retirement ceremonies teach the scouts respect, leadership, and the history behind the tradition. The U.S. flag code requires flags to be burned and destroyed in a dignified way.
“We have an entire script led by our boy scouts and we will lay down the flags in the fire burning pit. We keep a little ash from the fires and we add it to our fires that we’ve had from many, many different camp outs,” said Wesenberg.
“Boy Scouts has an opportunity to really change your life. You learn some great leadership skills and work ethics skills,” said Hammes.
“To get things done you have to work as a team. If you’re all unorganized, you’ll never get things done. And then part of scouting is learning how to work together and also to be a good leader. And that’s how we’ve managed to do these today,” said Isaiah Roux, a Boy Scout with Troop 246
“It was a fun experience participating with other scouts and having other scouts help me out with my journey through scouting,” said Jimmy Kundert, Boy Scout with Troop 246.
If you have an old American flag you want Troop 246 to respectfully retire, there are two locations in Colorado Springs. The collection boxes will be set up at the 21st-Century and East Branch libraries.