How to retire an American flag - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

How to retire an American flag

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TYLER (KYTX) - You may be ready to retire your old American flag that's seen plenty of Independence Days.

If your flag is frayed or torn, you aren't supposed to just throw it in the trash. There's a more proper, respectful way of disposing American flags...

90-year-old Bob Wood is a proud World War II veteran.

"Yeah, that was me." he says. "It was Company 42-52. That meant the year was 1942 and the company was number 52."

Memories flood back to him as he takes down the American flag waving in his front yard.

"It took good care of me- took good care of me for years and years."

He decided the Fourth of July would be a good day to retire it.

"You see it's torn and such. I'm ashamed of it." he says. 

He showed the proper way to dispose it.

"It's a triangle and theoretically they'll be no red showing when it's tucked like that. That's just how it is!"

After it's folded, Wood says the next step is to burn it completely to ashes, and that should be done in private.

"You don't destroy something sacred in public."  

Wood says watching the flag burn is a time for personal remembrance and reflection.

"As long as that flag was flying, we felt safe, even though we were at war."

He says the flag still brings him a feeling of protection to this day.

"I'm American for 90 plus years and I'll be an American until I go."  

Once your flag is burned, find a special place to bury the ashes. Of course, make sure you follow all the fire laws and ordinances during this process. Take it to your local fire department if you can't do this safely.

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