American Legion held Unserviceable Flag Ceremony in Lander Saturday

    (Lander, WY) – The American Legion Don Stough Post 33 conducted an Unserviceable Flag Ceremony at Mount Hope Cemetery in Lander Saturday, July 15, with an assist from some of our local scouts.

    While many are familiar with the more well known aspects of the United States flag code like proper handling, when and where the flag should be displayed, etc., some folks might not be aware that there is a process for the dignified disposal of spent, torn or faded flags.

    Once a flag has become no longer fit for display, they can be brought to dignified disposal flag receptacles located locally at the VFW Hall, in the county offices at the Fremont County Courthouse, ACE Hardware, Bomgaars, the Post Office, and various locations across the country.


    Once or twice a year, those flags are then collected by the Legion, where the Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags is held and the flags are respectfully burned and replaced, as per Resolution No. 440 in the flag code.

    The full resolution is below.

    WHEREAS, Americanism has been and should continue to be one of the major programs of The American Legion; and

    WHEREAS, The observance of proper respect for the Flag of our country and the education of our citizenry in the proper courtesies to be paid the Flag is an essential element of such Americanism program; and


    WHEREAS, It is fitting and proper that Flags which have been used for the decoration of graves on Memorial Day be collected after such service, inspected, and worn and unserviceable Flags be condemned and properly destroyed; and

    WHEREAS, The approved method of disposing of unserviceable Flags has long been that they be destroyed by burning, but no ritual for such destruction or ceremony in connection therewith has been adopted by The American Legion or included in its official manual of Ceremonies; therefore be it

    RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in New York City, September 20-23, 1937, that the ritual submitted herewith be adopted for use by The American Legion and that it be made the official ceremony for the destruction of unserviceable American Flags and to be included as such in the Manual of Ceremonies, Revised, of The American Legion.


    “The purpose of The American Legion in adopting this ceremony was to encourage proper respect for the Flag of the United States and to provide for disposal of unserviceable flags in a dignified manner,” according to the official American Legion website, which also cited Resolution No. 373, that “re-emphasized the purpose of proper public Flag disposal ceremonies and encouraged greater use of this ceremony by The American Legion.”

    That full resolution is below.

    WHEREAS, Our Flag which we love and cherish


    WHEREAS, In a proper service of tribute and memory and love, our Flag becomes faded and worn and must be honorably retired from life; and

    WHEREAS, Such retirement of Flags that have become unserviceable may be done in public with respectful and honorable rites: therefore be it

    RESOLVED, That The American Legion in convention assembled at Chicago, Illinois, September 18-20, 1944, urge that the National Headquarters use all means to foster and promote through the proper channels, the greater use of the official American Legion Ceremony for the Disposal of Unserviceable Flags as outlined in the Manual of Ceremonies; and be it further

    RESOLVED, That Flag Day, June 14, be recommended as the most appropriate day on which to annually hold this ceremony.

    The full breakdown of each step of the ceremony can be read in full here, and photos from the July 15 ceremony can be viewed below.


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