We are proud to be Americans. That is just one of many reasons why we fly an American Flag at many of our A Cleaner World locations, and if you look closely at any one of our American Flags, you should notice that they are in terrific shape. The United States Flag Code states that, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." Besides wanting to follow the rules, there is also another reason why our flags are in tip-top shape – it’s a big deal to the boss. “It’s called Old Glory,” said Chris Edwards, President of A Cleaner World. “It should be flown when in its glory – solid, strong – like our country. We always want it to be up to standards so that when a service member, police officer, fire fighter, or member of the sheriff’s department drives by one of our stores, they can see that we take our responsibility of flying it seriously. When it appears weak, torn, or tattered, then it is time to be replaced.”
So what happens to our tattered flags? The Flag’s code doesn’t give any particular group the authority to retire unfit flags. It also doesn’t say that the only method in which to destroy a flag is by burning; burning is simply the preferred method. There are many terrific organizations like the VFW, Elks Lodge, and American Legion that accept tattered flags and perform retirement ceremonies, but the one we work with on this endeavor is the Boy Scouts. Have I ever mentioned that Chris is an Eagle Scout? It’s a title that he wears proudly and that really impresses my son. More on that second thing later. Chris is still involved with the Boy Scouts and periodically participates in Flag Retirement Ceremonies. He was kind enough to share these photos from a Flag Retirement Ceremony done by his troop.
So I’ve mentioned before that my son is a Cub Scout and absolutely loves it. He takes Scouts very seriously; he insists that he too will someday be an Eagle Scout. That’s why, when I found out that one of our locations had a flag that needed to be replaced, I called Chris to ask if Gray’s den could perform the retirement ceremony on the old flag. I’ll share photos from that ceremony down the road. But in the meantime, if you have flag that needs just needs a little cleaning, drop it off at any one of our locations. We clean American Flags for free – every day.