Sunday, June 14, 2020, the American Legion Arick L Lore Post 274 held its Flag Retirement Ceremony at 11 a.m. Annually held on Flag Day, the ceremony is a way to retire worn, faded and tattered American Flags with dignity. According to the U.S. Flag code “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.”
Flag Day honors a resolution from the Second Continental Congress, made on June 14, 1777, which called for an official flag for the United States. The resolution stated the flag was to be “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” The thirteen stars and thirteen stripes represented the original thirteen colonies. Our current flag still displays thirteen stripes, but now has fifty stars, one for each of our states.
Post Commander Jay Bolles began the ceremony by offering greetings to the group. He then led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Post Chaplin Warren Kidwell provided the invocation.
Joyce Baki, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 274 president provided a reading of I am the Flag. Originally entitled, My Name is Old Glory, it was written by Howard Schnauber. Ms. Baki asked that we remember today (June 14) is the 245th birthday of the United States Army, which was created on June 14, 1775.
The Flag Retirement Service began. Retiring the flags were CMSgt. Justin Thomson, US Air Force; TSgt. John Pagdanganan, US Air Force; Petty Officer Mike Morgan, US Navy; and Andrue Wellington, US Navy; Sam Somers, Boy Scout Troop 427; Edward A. Walls, Boy Scout Troop 1684; Ivy Somers, American Heritage Girls Troop 1888; American Legion Vice-Commanders Nate Stevens and Rick Watson. Working in tandem the flags were verified for retirement and then retired by burning.
Closing remarks were made by Commander Bolles. He thanked all of those participating and attending.
Commander Bolles said that this year’s event was a shorter version of the regular event. Held at an earlier time than normal, it included social distancing and other restrictions in place due to Covid-19. It was virtually broadcast over the Post’s Facebook page. Bolles stated, “it is important for us to continue our programs and ceremonies, even if it takes broadcasting the ceremony. Our flag, its history and what it stands for is an important lesson for all Americans.”
American Legion Arick L. Lore Post 274 has installed a flag collection box at the front of the Post. The box, emptied on a regular basis, provides a safe and secure repository for local citizens to leave flags for disposal. Flags are retired on a regular basis throughout the year.
If you would like to learn more about the American Legion Arick L. Lore Post 274 visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/American.Legion.Post.274.Lusby/. New legislation has expanded the eligibility for veterans and active duty military to join. To learn about the American Legion visit https://www.legion.org/.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Joyce Stinnett Baki / Contributor to Calvert Beacon