Bham-area Scouts commemorate Flag Day with flag retirement ceremonies

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Flag retirement
Boy Scout Troop 237 retiring U.S. Flag on June 12, 2021. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Local Birmingham area Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are commemorating Flag Day 2021 by holding solemn flag retirement ceremonies. 

This past Saturday, Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) Boy Scout Troop 237 and the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Assembly held its annual day-long collection and flag retirement ceremony on the church campus. On Flag Day – June 14th – the North-Central Alabama Girl Scouts will conduct a flag retirement at the Vulcan Park and Museum beginning at 10:30am. 

OLS Ceremony

Boy Scout Troop Flag Day 2021
Boy Scout Troop 237 saluting U.S. Flag on June 12, 2021. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

For several years now, The Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Assembly 1288 has collected flags and held a retirement ceremony with local Boy Scout troops.  This year the group collected 50 flags to retire. 

Rick Lange with the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Assembly 1288 wrote to Bham Now about the ceremony:

“Many people don’t know what to do with a worn, faded, or tattered flag but they know they should not throw it away in the garbage.  We provide that opportunity for the community to drop the flags off so we may properly retire them.”

A solemn and emotional ceremony,  before the ceremony the flags’ stripes have been cut cleanly into strips. The blue star field is not cut because it represents the union of the fifty states and “one should never let the union be broken.”

During the ceremony a script is read aloud,  honoring the flag and the soldiers who fought to defend it in past wars, while the scouts carefully place parts of the flag in a fire. 

According to Lange, the ashes from the flags will be buried at a Boy Scout camp this Friday.

Girl Scouts and Vulcan Park and Museum

Flag Day with Vulcan
Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama and Vulcan Park and Museum are teaming up today to celebrate Flag Day

On Flag Day, June 14th at 10:30am, the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama and Vulcan Park & Museum will also be holding a ceremony to retire United States flags with dignity and respect. 

I do expect the ceremony to be similar to the one held by my own daughter when she was a girl scout at Highlands School in 2012.

One added bonus for today’s event at Vulcan Park and Museum – FREE Girl Scout Cookies are available for Veterans while supplies last! 

Unifying 

Flag Day 2012
Girl Scouts at Highlands School in 2012. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

If you can’t make the Girl Scout event at Vulcan Park  today, look for a U.S. flag today. It may be on top of a building, a neighborhood porch or alongside a city street.  

It unites us all. 

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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