As Americans prepare to observe the Flag Day holiday on June 14, Mid Michigan Waste Authority is reminding area residents to properly dispose of their old, unserviceable United States flags.
MMWA, which provides residential curbside waste collection services to 34 communities in the Saginaw Valley, encourages flag owners to follow the United States Flag Code, which outlines how to respectfully retire an unserviceable American flag.
When an American flag becomes soiled, faded and tattered, it should be destroyed, preferably by burning, according to the code. Flags should not be disposed of in curbside trash or recycling containers.
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) directions for proper flag disposal include folding the flag in its customary manner, then placing it in a fire large enough to ensure complete burning of the flag. Individuals should come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and have a brief period of silent reflection. After the fire is completely consumed, the fire should be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
Nylon flags should not be burned, as they will produce toxic gases, and people should be sure to follow local fire codes and ordinances.
Most veterans’ organizations will accept old flags for retirement, and some have public drop-off boxes to make proper disposal even easier. Two local drop-box locations include the VFW Post 1566 at the corner of Cass and Oakley streets in Saginaw, and the American Legion Post 212 bin in front of Ed Rehmann and Sons Clothing, 151 W Broad St., Chesaning.
For additional flag disposal instructions and options, visit http://www.recyclemotion.org/guidelines/other/.