SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Unserviceable flags should not be thrown away according to the United States Flag Code. The Flag Code states that when an American flag is no longer in good condition, it should be "destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." While the code does not say specifically how to dispose of an unserviceable flag, veteran posts like American Legion 253 offer residents a way to properly dispose of their American flags. This past Flag Day on June 14, Spotswood's American Legion Post 253 performed a special flag burning ceremony to retire flags that were not fit to fly anymore.
"The Flag Ceremony is recommended to retire old worn colors, who have served our Post and other locates for many years," explained the Secretary and Treasurer of the American Legion's Ladies Auxiliary Arlene Baum "These flags have reached their present state in a proper service of tribute, memory and love. The flags were retired and destroyed with respectful and honorable rites. The American Legion gives honor to those who the flag has waved to, for and under."
The members of American Legion Post 253 who took part in the June 14 Flag Burning Ceremony were Commander Bill Baum, Jr Vice John Millie, Chaplain Dan DeMattero and Master of Arms Rick Scully. The special ceremony was also attended by the American Legion Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion, Riders of the American Legion, local Girl and Boy Scout troop members as well as all the members of American Legion Post 253. Twenty-five residents also came out to observe the ceremony.
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During the year, American Legion Post 253 collects unserviceable flags for proper disposal. This year the post disposed of American flags that had been given to them along with additional flags from the local Spotswood VFW. Residents in need of proper flag disposal can contact American Legion Post 253 for more information by emailing