By: Mark Mercer – THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Phil Stotz, Commander of the West Unity Chapter of the American Legion Post 669, conducted a flag disposal ceremony at the post on October 2. Assisting in the ceremony were post members Bob Funnell, Willard Miller, Bob Nussbaumer and Keith Brubeck.
The ceremony was conducted by members of the disposal team inspecting each flag, acknowledging the flags were no longer fit for display and ready for disposal. After a final salute, disposal of the flags was then completed by placing each flag over a ceremonial fire and burning them until all portions of the flags were fully burned.
The purpose of holding an official disposal ceremony is to provide respect for the flag and dispose of old and unserviceable flags in keeping with published guidelines. Those guidelines may be found in Chapter 1, section (8) sub-section (k), of the United States Flag Code. The code states: “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferable by burning.” Commander Stotz defined “no longer fitting for display” as a flag with frayed edges, excessively sun-bleached flags, and flags that are ripped or torn. Commander Stotz also stated that “the American flag should always be displayed in pristine condition and should be inspected frequently by those who display the flag to ensure it is good condition.”
Each town throughout the area has a local chapter of the American Legion and conducts flag disposal ceremonies annually. Those interested in dropping off a flag for disposal may contact the local chapter in your community.
The American Legion in West Unity holds flag disposal ceremonies annually at the beginning of October. Members of the community who have flags that they would like to deliver to the post for disposal may drop their flags off at the post, or contact the post at 419-924-2375.
Mark Mercer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org