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Have a Flag to Retire?

Our Post has a drop-box in front, place your flag there. Flags are retired as needed, typically twice per year, Flag Day and near Pearl Harbour Day. Thank you for respecting our Flag.

Flag Retirement

Flag Retirement is the term used to define the proper, dignified way of destroying United States flags that are no longer fit to serve the nation.

How do you know your flag should be retired?

Sometimes your flag will only need to be cleaned to restore its original appearance. Regular cleaning of your flag can extend its life considerably. Flags can be machine-washed with a mild detergent in cold water. Flags should be hung to dry or laid flat. Do not fold the flag if it is damp.


If it is possible, mend a tattered flag at early signs of wear. The edge furthest from the staff, known as the "fly" end is usually the first part of the flag to show wear. The fly end may start to unravel due to weather conditions.


It is really up to you to decide when your flag is ready to be retired. If the flag is unable to be repaired or is too tattered then the flag should be retired.

Our Post has a drop-box in front of the building for flags, they are retired when we have enough for a ceremony, which is typically about two times per year, typically on Flag Day and near Pearl Harbour Day as needed.

How to destroy an old, worn, frayed and/or faded U.S. Flags in a dignified way?

The preferred and most dignified way to destroy old, worn, frayed and/or faded U.S. Flags is by burning them.


Isn’t burning the flag an act of desecration and a sign of rebellion?

No, throughout history, burning or cremation has long been considered a dignified way of paying respect to the deceased and to objects worthy of veneration. Burning has been applied to flag retirement to offer the most reverent method of final tribute.

Who is authorized to retire a U.S. Flag?

Anyone. The Flag code does not authorize any particular organization with the duty of retiring unfit flags. Any one person or group can do it.


However, flags should be retired in private at a non-public location and the ceremony should be a solemn, dignified event. There is no one official ceremony required or recommended.

When to Display Your Flag

The flag should be displayed, from sunrise to sunset, on all days when the weather permits, especially on:

  • New Year's Day, January 1

  • Inauguration Day

  • Martin Luther King's Birthday, Third Monday in January

  • Lincoln's Birthday

  • Washington's Birthday, February 22

  • Easter Sunday

  • Mother's Day, Second Sunday in May

  • Armed Forces Day, Third Saturday in May

  • Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), Last Monday in May

  • Flag Day, June 14th

  • Independence Day, July 4th

  • Labor Day, First Monday in September

  • Constitution Day, September 17th

  • Columbus Day, October 12th

  • Navy Day

  • Veterans Day, November 11th

  • Thanksgiving Day, Fourth Thursday in November

  • Christmas Day, December 25th

  • Election Days (various)

  • Federally observed dates of the above holidays which may be different from the actual dates

  • Such days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States

  • State and Local Holidays

What is the significance of flags at half-staff?

This gesture is a sign to indicate the nation mourns the death of an individual(s), such as death of the President or former President, Vice President, Supreme Court Justice, member of Congress, Secretary of an executive or military department, etc. Only the President of the United States or the Governor of the State may order the flag to be half-staffed.

Folding a Flag

  1. Bring the striped half up over the blue field.

  2. Then fold it in half again.

  3. Bring the lower striped corner to the upper edge forming a triangle.

  4. Then fold the upper point in to form another triangle. Continue until the entire length of the flag is folded.

  5. When you get near the end - nothing but the blue field showing - tuck the last bit into the other folds to secure it.

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