Scouts retire Old Glory to celebrate Flag Day
By Alonzo Garza
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from around Lockhart held a flag retiring ceremony at City Park at 7:30 p.m. in observance of Flag Day on Saturday, June 14.
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777. It was in 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson issue
d a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. In 1949, an Act of Congress established National Flag Day.
To celebrate Flag Day local Scouts retired old, worn out American flags.
For those not familiar with the custom, it is quite simple. Even though different groups do it differently, depending on their preference, the main thing is adhering to the U.S. Flag Code regarding flag retirement which reads; “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”
The only recommendation from the Boy Scouts of America comes from a BSA publication entitled “Our Flag.” Although it is not a BSA policy, Scouts are encouraged and it is strongly suggested that, “When the national flag is worn beyond repair, burn it thoroughly and completely on a modest, but blazing fire. This should be done in a simple manner with dignity and respect. Be sure the flag is reduced to ashes unrecognizable as a former flag.”
Despite competing with the loud live music coming from the main pavilion at 36th Annual Chisholm Trail Roundup and the passing train’s seemingly endless, horn blowing, the Scouts did a magnificent job honoring retired flags in a dignified and respectful ceremony.
County Commissioner Tom Bonn, formerly of Troop 115, opened the ceremony and led the Scouts with “The U.S. flag is more than just some brightly colored cloth…it is a symbol of our nation.”
Scouts read responses including, “Seven red stripes and six white stripes together represent the original 13 colonies that gained us liberty. The red stripes remind us of the lifeblood of brave men and women who were ready to die for this, their country.”
A second response began, “The white stripes remind us of purity and cleanliness of purpose, thought, word and deed. The blue is for truth and justice, like the eternal blue of the star filled heavens.”
And a third response stated, “The stars represent the 50 sovereign states of our union. The American creed states, it is my duty to my country to love it, to respect its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flags, and to defend it against all enemies.”
Bonn added, “The U.S. flag should be treated with respect when it is flying and when it is being retired.”
Another Scout finished with, “Therefore, we retire flags with dignity and respect when they become worn, torn, faded or badly soiled. A flag ceases to be a flag when it is cut into pieces. We separate the 13 stripes that represent the original 13 Colonies and the 50 stars to pay homage to the 50 states that make up this great nation.”
The ceremony included cutting of the red and white stripes and the stars before burning them in three separate fires, one each for the read and white stripes and a third for the blue fields.
Present at the ceremony were Boy Scouts and Scout Leaders from Troops 109, 110 and 215 and a Girl Scout from Troop 620, along with representatives from the VFW Post 8927, the American Legion Hall Post 41, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department, the Lockhart Police Department and the Lockhart Fire Department.
The Flag Day flag retirement ceremony was enjoyed as a respectful adoration for our flag, our nation and everything for which they stand.
See you at next year’s ceremony.