Scouts of Troop 329 will retire American flags provided by neighbors and veterans
Phoenix, Arizona, November 4, 2017– Boy Scouts from Troop 329 of Grand Canyon Council, BSA, will retire or dispose of American flags in the proper method, by burning them in a ceremonial event at North Mountain Park on Veterans Day, November 11, 2017, at 7:00 pm. Veterans contributed some of the flags to be retired. The Scouts gathered other flags in an event at Royal Palms Park on July 3, 2017
“If you love and respect Old Glory, give her the proper retirement ceremony. We’ll be glad to do it for you,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Roger Ottaway. “Don’t throw your old flags in the trash. Dispose of them properly.”
The U.S. Flag code states that, “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.” Thus, when a flag is torn and tattered beyond repair, it's time for it to be retired. The Scouts will place the flag in a fire as part of the ceremony while veterans, elected officials, and parents salute.
Ottaway explained how the retirement ceremony came about. “We were preparing to perform our flag ceremony Memorial Day at Madison Meadows Retirement Center. One of the tenants approached and asked the Scouts if they could retire a flag properly. He said he had pulled a flag out of the trash a couple of years ago, and wanted the Scouts to retire it with dignity. I used this opportunity to discuss with the Scouts just how important the flag was to people.”
The Troop decided to collect flags at a local neighborhood July 4th celebration this year at Royal Palms Park, and then have a formal retirement ceremony in the fall. Ottaway told the Scouts that, once people knew the Scouts were collecting old flags for retirement, people would go home and bring flags back. And that is exactly what happened. The Scouts collected 18 flags in 2 hours at the event.
Arizona Senator Kate Brophy McGee stopped by the Scouts’ table at the July 4th celebration to thank the Scouts for collecting flags for proper disposal. She even offered our Scouts an opportunity to visit her at her office, said Ottaway.
Senator Kate Brophy McGee and Phoenix Councilwoman Debra Stark will attend the ceremony.
Senator Brophy McGee said: “the Boy Scouts teach so many good lessons. Proper, respectful treatment of our flag, including its disposal, is a great example. I’m honored to be a part of this ceremony.
State Representative Kelli Butler is unable to attend, but said the Scout flag retirement ceremony demonstrates respect for the flag. “I understand one of the aims of Scouting is citizenship training. That is a worthy goal. Respect for the flag is a perfect lesson for our youth to learn.”
Scouting has three main objectives or aims: character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Its mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
According to a study of more than 2,000 Scouts and non-Scouts aged 6-12 by Tufts University:
· Over time, Scouts reported significant increases in several character areas while non-Scouts did not.
· Scouts are more likely to embrace positive social values than non-Scouts
· The longer their tenure the better their character attributes
· When asked what was “most important” to them, Scouts were significantly more likely than non-Scouts to choose “helping others” or “doing the right thing” vs. “being smart,” “being the best,” or “playing sports”
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Roger Ottaway at 602-930-8327 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.