The Flag Project
Run Through of a Flag Retirement Ceremony

Example of Flag Burning Ceremony


This section is an example of a flag burning ceremony conducted by the authors of this page in conjunction with the Boy Scout Troop 30 of the Columbia-Montour council Pennsylvania. The first thing that needed to be done was to plan. We decided to carry out the ceremony in our local town park sometime near flag day of that year (flag day is June 14th every year). We then asked our Boy Scout troop to help us in the ceremony. From there we went around to local businesses and asked if they would be flag drop off spots. We then asked the local paper to announce that we started collecting flags. We also put up posters saying that we were collecting flags

One of the most important parts of our ceremony was to find the materials we would need. (On our sample page you can look at our list of materials). The hard to find items were white gloves and a burner. The flag burner must be a contraption that will let the flag burn without the flag touching the flames directly. We found that using a enormous propane burner along with a burn barrel worked well. I have read about people using F-16 after burners, which if you had the right connections would be interesting. Besides finding materials the person leading the ceremony will also need to have several people help him or her conduct the ceremony. The ceremony itself will need several people to play the parts in the ceremony. A bugler or some sort of musical ensemble would also be appropriate. It is also proper to invite a member of the clergy or someone to read the prayer. For our ceremony we had a bugler and a minister give the prayer. We did not have a guest speaker, but it is appropriate to have a veteran speak on the occasion. We also went to our town council meeting to get permission to use the town park.

We collected flags from our flag drop off spots and cemetery. Then prepared them for the ceremony. The little flags that had been over the veteran graves were precut. (There is a special way to cut flags which is shown later on this page). The larger ones were folded in the proper manner. Then we started to advertise for the ceremony. We finished getting the items on our list. Then we carried out the ceremony and disposed of the ashes in a proper manner.

© 2012 Andrew Burd-Harris*Page last updated: August 11, 2012