Doug Wayman and local boy scouts approached Mayor Hilary Gordon and council members in Huntington on Wednesday to gain the council’s permission and support for a flag retirement at the Huntington Cemetery on July 4.
Wayman and the scouts would begin the ceremony with an opening prayer. One set of scouts would present the flag and then cut the flag into four quarters. Each quarter would be placed separately into a metal five gallon bucket full of hot coals with the stars being last. After the flag is completely burned, Taps would be played. After Taps is played, another set of scouts would raise the new American flag for the beginning of the Fourth of July. A brief reading of the constitution and the Declaration of Independence would follow before ending the ceremony with a closing prayer.
Councilwoman Julie Jones wondered why they decided on the cemetery and suggested that the flag retirement be performed at a memorial park before the activities begin so that others can witness the correct way to retire an American flag. Jones stated that it is an amazing experience and an amazing tribute to the nation.
Jones and Wayman will determine the time and location of where the ceremony will be held.
“No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America. 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,” Wayman said.
I AM YOUR FLAG
I was born on June 14, 1777
I am more than cloth shaped into a design.
I am the refuge of the world’s oppressed people.
I am the silent sentinel of Freedom.
I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth.
I am the inspiration for which American Patriots gave their lives and fortunes.
I have led your sons in to battle from Valley Forge to the blistering desert of the Arabian Peninsula.
I walked in silence with each of your honored dead to their final resting place beneath the silent white crosses, row upon row.
I have flown through peace and war, strife and prosperity, and amidst it all I have been respected.
“Old Glory” is my nickname; proudly I wave on high. Honor me. Respect me; defend me with your lives and fortunes. Never let my enemies tear me down from my lofty position lest I never return.
Keep alight the fires of patriotism; strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy. Worship Eternal God and keep his commandments and I shall remain the bulwark of peace of freedom for all people.
FOR I AM YOUR FLAG!
My red stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of the glorious nation.
My white stripes signify the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons.
My blue field is indicative of God’s heaven under which we fly. My stars, clustered together, unify 50 States as one for God and Country.
(Author Unknown) https://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/flagretirement_scouts.htm