Kiwanis Blackhawk Golden K of Janesville, WI

FLAG RETIREMENT HISTORY

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Phil Selgrin, Frank Douglas, Lyle Platner, Marv Hauser, David Soderberg, John Janes

 
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Flag Retirement Ceremony, June 13, 2012

-----------  HISTORY  -----------

In 2008, Dave Soderberg and a group of volunteers created a one-of-a-kind drop box to collect badly worn flags.  The Kiwanis Club got a postbox from the local postmaster and asked the art department at Parker High School to create a design for it.

Dave asked for the design to include a bald eagle, both because it’s the nation’s symbol and because he learned respect for the flag in Boy Scouts, where he eventually earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Senior Ashley Rutter from Parker High School designed and painted the box.  The box was installed Tuesday, May 19, 2008 at Kiwanis Park.   Tim Roth donated money toward the box as a memorial to his father, Marvin Roth, who always conducted the flag disposal ceremony in the past.

Residents drop off worn flags to be burned in a ceremony on the Wednesday nearest Flag Day, June 14.

Boy Scout Troop 539 folds the flags before they are unfurled and incinerated.

In 2007, we spent about six hours burning 118 flags.  After installation of the collection box in 2008, 310 flags were collected in the first 10 days. We now retire between 500 and 600 flags each year.

Veterans appreciate it when people take the time to properly dispose of flags instead of throwing them away or burying them.

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PROPER FLAG DISPOSAL

American flags should be destroyed “in a dignified way, preferably by burning,” according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Here are suggested procedures for disposing of a worn flag:

-- The flag should be folded in its customary manner.

-- It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.

-- Place the flag on the fire.

-- Bystanders can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.

-- After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.

-- Be sure to conform to local fire codes

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers, dedicated to improving the world,
one child and one community at a time