CLOVIS, California (KGPE) – Just in front of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District building, a new flag retirement box is set out for the community.
“We’ve always had a flag box inside the building. It’s been our commitment to our community to be able to retire a flag properly. During the pandemic, one of the things that we found was it was difficult for our public to be able to access it,” said Lorenzo Rios, CEO, Clovis Veterans Memorial District.
Rios said once a flag is tattered or damaged, there’s a tradition that needs to be observed.
“There’s a proper way of retiring it. Anyone at home that has a torn or well-used flag, it is respectful to take it down and properly dispose of it.”
The Veterans Memorial District works closely with the American Legion 147 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3225 and at the last flag retirement ceremony, the CVMD donated around 1,200 flags. Veteran Tom Wright says everyone should experience a flag retirement ceremony.
“It makes you realize instantaneously how important the flag is and how reverent people toward it is and I can’t imagine anybody seeing the ceremony without being touched and having a new appreciation for the flag,” said Tom Wright, the Board Chairman of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.
A proper flag retirement ceremony involves folding, saluting the flag with the Pledge of Allegiance, and then burying the ashes. The United States flag code states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” Wright says to remember what the flag represents.
“It’s a symbol of what this nation is all about and I get real annoyed with people who say it doesn’t stand for them and it doesn’t represent American anymore — yes it does– they wouldn’t be able to stand there and make those statements if it weren’t for that flag.”