Places to Properly Dispose of a U.S. Flag

Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by nobody666, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. nobody666

    nobody666 New Member

    First let me share an interesting Flag fact. On the top of a flagpole is often a ball. This ball is called the Trunk. Inside the ball are 3 things to be used if ever the flag should be compromised. A razor blade, a match and a single bullet. The reason is to properly dispose of a flag and not let it fall into harms way. When disposing the flag you should use the razor blade to cut the stars away from the bars, the match to Burn them, and the bullet is the last course of action.

    There are many groups that can and will dispose of an old or weathered flag. Most military service organizations such as the VFW the American Legion but the best in my opinion is the Boy Scouts of America or Girl Scouts of America. They teach flag etiquette and regularly such as at summer camp bon-fires will burn them with great respect. Please tell others and find the best way to dispose of a U.S. Flag; the symbol of lives lost to protect her and the most recognized symbol of freedom in the world.
     
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    On the top of a flagpole is often a ball. This ball is called the Trunk.

    The term is actually "truck," not "trunk." Truck is a nautical term that refers to the circular or square cap at the top of a ship's mast, often with holes through it for halyards. According to Army Regulation 840-10, the ball on top of a post flagpole is the "decorative ornament," and a ball on top of a wall-mounted flagstaff is a "finial." The word "truck" does not appear in the regulation.

    Inside the ball are 3 things to be used if ever the flag should be compromised. A razor blade, a match and a single bullet. The reason is to properly dispose of a flag and not let it fall into harms way. When disposing the flag you should use the razor blade to cut the stars away from the bars, the match to Burn them, and the bullet is the last course of action.

    This rather silly legend seems to have originated at the Citadel in Charleston SC in the 1950s. There's more detail about it in this earlier thread:

    http://www.usa-flag-site.org/forum/items-needed-for-flag-pole-2566.html

    They teach flag etiquette and regularly such as at summer camp bon-fires will burn them with great respect.

    The Army Regulation says that flags should be "destroyed privately, preferably by burning, shredding or by some other method that does not show irreverence or disrespect to the flag." Scouts and other organizations can stage public flag burnings if they wish, of course, but that is not what Army regs specify.

    Peter Ansoff
     

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