Flag Retirement
Can an individual burn the American Flag?

The answer is yes. Any U.S. individual or organization can retire an American Flag if it is done with respect and the honor it deserves.

The United States 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.”

The act of flag retirement should be done discreetly so that the act of destruction is not perceived as a protest or desecration to the American Flag. Individuals as well as military or patriotic organizations can retire a flag.  A flag ceremony should be respectful and relatively private. If you would like to save and donate your worn flag to be part of a ceremony there are many civic organizations that will gladly accept your flag.

Many American Legion Posts conduct "Disposal of Unserviceable Flag Ceremonies" on June 14th, Flag Day. Other veterans' organizations also have their own ceremonies for flag retirement. The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will also accept your worn flags for retirement ceremonies.

A good rule of thumb that I follow is to fly a new flag on July 4th. You can purchase a new flag through Amazon.com by clicking here.


Proper U.S. Flag Retirement

Proper burning of American Flags
These images are were taken at a Flag Disposal Ceremony on Flag Day, 2012.
The ceremony was conducted by the American Legion, Moon Brothers Post.