Use Of Flag Remnants

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by DOGFISH350, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. DOGFISH350

    DOGFISH350 New Member

    IS IT APPROPRIATE TO USE THE WHITE EMBROIDERED STARS THAT HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM FLAGS THAT ARE BEING PROPERLY DISPOSED OF AND TURN THESE STARS INTO ENCAPSULATED (LAMINATED) WALLET/POCKET SIZE “MEMORIAL/REMEMBRANCE/PRAYERâ€￾ CARDS WITH A PRINTED VERSE ON THE REVERSE SIDE FOR PEOPLE TO CARRY AS AMULETS?
     
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hello, Dogfish -- welcome to the forum!

    In earlier times, it was common to cut stars, or other pieces, out of flags and give them to people as souvenirs. This was done with the "Star Spangled Banner" after the battle of Baltimore, for example. The idea was usually that that particular flag had significance to the people receiving the pieces -- they had fought together under it, or it had flown at a particularly significant battle or event. The point was not to dispose of the flag, but to commemorate something.

    The modern flag code, and military regulations, just say that that unservicable flags should be destroyed in a dignified way, and the current practice is to dispose of them whole. Personally, I don't think that it's very dignified to cut the flag into pieces -- it seems more like some kind of druidic ritual than anything patriotic. However, it's really a matter of personal taste.

    Best regards,

    Peter Ansoff
     
  3. DOGFISH350

    DOGFISH350 New Member

    Peter, thanx for the reply and comment. My interest is in determining whether this practice actually violates the Flag Code per se. The residue left over after this operation is correctly disposed of (burned).
     
  4. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    My interest is in determining whether this practice actually violates the Flag Code per se.

    No, it doesn't. The current flag code just says that the flag should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. For what it's worth, however, the original version of the code that was written in 1923 said:

    . . . [the flag] should be destroyed as a whole, privately, preferably by burning or by some other method in harmony with the reverence and respect we owe to the emblem representing our country."

    I'm not sure when the "as a whole" and "privately" parts were deleted; it might have been when the code was adopted by Congress in 1942. Personally, I think that they should have left it alone, for a couple of reasons. It made clear that the point was not the burning, but the idea that the flag was treated with dignity because of its status as a national symbol. I also like the "privately" part -- public flag-burning rituals strike me as kind of creepy. (For what it's worth, military regulations still say that the flag should be destroyed privately.) Just my two cents, of course . . .

    Best regards,

    Peter Ansoff
     

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