A flag retirement ceremony is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Robert Jack VFW Post 1322 in Van Buren.
Open to the public, the ceremony will include information on flag etiquette as well as flag folding, said Matthew Hicks, Robert Jack VFW Post 1322 quartermaster.
“If you have a flag that needs a proper retirement, come to the ceremony,” Hicks said.
Light refreshments will be served during the event.
For those that cannot make the ceremony, a flag drop box is available at the Van Buren Municipal Complex at 1003 Broadway St.
Flags also can be dropped off at the post at 23 N. 20th St. or contact Hicks at (479) 650- 6551 to arrange a drop-off or pick-up.
Members of the VFW also will be at Yeager’s in Van Buren from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for a flag drop-off.
“Once a flag becomes faded, torn or ripped up, it is then no longer fit for duty and needs to be retired properly and with respect,” Hicks said.
Although there is no specific protocol in the U.S. flag code to disposing of a flag, it states that the flag “should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”
At a retirement ceremony at the Robert Jack VFW Post 1322, flags are burned to ashes and then buried on site.
Hicks offered up some other tips on how to properly treat the national flag.
“Our flag represents our country and is considered a living thing,” Hicks said. “As we place our flag out to fly, make sure it looks its best.”
When the flag is part of an approaching group such as a parade, the viewer’s hand should be placed over their heart when it is six steps away and keep it there until it has passed by six steps, Hicks said.
On a flagpole, the flag should be raised high in the morning and taken down before dark unless there is a light that shines on the flag through the night, he said.
“If you have a weather flag, you can display it during bad weather,” Hicks said. “But with anything you want to take care of, if it looks rough outside, bring it in.”
An American flag can be flown horizontally or vertically, as long as the blue field with the sea of stars is uppermost and to the right on the poll. The flag should also be higher than any other flag on display.
In addition to the national flag, the VFW also retires state flags, service flags and POW/MIA flags.