I am writing this letter today because I have a deep concern that many people are not disposing of their old flags with the respect and protocol in which a flag is supposed to be handled. There are people out there who don't know that they are never supposed to throw an old flag in the garbage or let it touch the ground. People are not trying to be malicious they just have not been properly taught how to care for the flag.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, sales of flags have more than doubled. What has not increased is the information and protocols that go along with owning a flag. As a Boy Scout I know that when a flag becomes old, tattered, worn or dirty it needs to be retired and disposed of in the correct manner.
If you buy a flag you should be willing to accept all the responsibilities that go along with owning it. Education is part of that responsibility. Many people wanted to show their support for the troops and that they are patriotic.
Now people need to show their respect for their flag and what it represents. They can do this by learning how to care for one.
These are the things you should do when your flag becomes old, ripped or dirty. You should take it down when it is quiet and your focus should be on the flag. The proper method for folding the flag is to have an equilateral triangle, with the stars on the outside. You should then place the flag inside a sealable bag for protection.
After you have done all of the above, you should contact a local organization that knows how to properly dispose of flags. These organizations may include any of the scouting troops, the Amvets or the local National Guard.
If you can't find an organization please feel free to call me, Brian L. Millyard (907) 283-5104 at home anytime day or night and I will get back with you as soon as I possibly can. My Scout Troop No. 152 will be happy to take care of the flag for you.
Remember, we all share this responsibility as American citizens.
Brian L. Millyard
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