Flag Day ceremony retires nearly 400 flags

By: 
Jordan Gerard

The American Legion Post 249 hosted their annual Flag Day flag retirement ceremony on Thursday, June 14 in Viking Memorial Park.

An annual event, it gives people the chance to retire their flags properly, which is by ceremoniously burning them. 

The U.S. Flag 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, preferably by burning.”

This year, Legion Post 249 members estimated more than 400 flags were ceremoniously retired.

Post members Dean Johnson, Anne Doering, Christian Myrah, Fordyce Brevig, Gary Buxengard, Carlyn Kraabel and Jim Wilhelmson performed the ceremony and then retired the flags, one at a time.

Boy Scouts Sam Stender, Jack Logan and Henry Kessler assisted the Legion in the ceremony.

The flags were presented to Legion members, inspected and approved for retirement, having done their duty. Though it was windy, all of the flags were retired.

The Legion has hosted the ceremony for many years, though some years there has not been a ceremony. 

Doering said it’s best to do it every year so the number of flags doesn’t get so numerous.

The purpose of Flag Day is to commemorate the adoption of the U.S. flag on June 14, 1777 by the Second Continental Congress. In 2019, the flag is 242 years old.

President Woodrow Wilson, who issued a proclamation, officially established Flag Day in 1916. 

However, it’s at the sitting president’s discretion to officially proclaim the observance of Flag Day. In observation of the day, many states and cities hold parades and festivals to celebrate the flag.