Americans honor June 14 as Flag Day. In coordination with Flag Day, the Blanchester American Legion Post 179 along with the Boy Scouts will be having a Flag Retirement Ceremony at the ballpark beside the Municipal Building on Cherry Street.

Did you ever wonder about our flag and why June 14th was chosen as Flag Day?

Before a unified flag was ordered, the Colonies used several different flags.

During the Revolution, one of them was the Gadsden flag, also known as the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed a flag resolution, stating that our flag would have 13 red and white stripes and a blue field with white stars.

One-hundred years later on June 14, 1877, the first national observance of Flag Day took place.

In the late 1800s, schoolteachers wanted to conduct Flag Day observances to teach school children about patriotism and history. One schoolteacher, Bernard Cigrand, lobbied Congress for many years for Flag Day to be officially observed. He is known as the “Father of Flag Day.

Other patriotic groups spent years trying to convince Congress to make Flag Day official. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation stating that June 14 shall be National Flag Day, and later in 1949, it was made an official day by an Act of Congress.

The flag retirement ceremony is very touching, and I recommend everyone who has never observed one to go out Monday at 6:30 p.m. and observe the respect shown Old Glory.

First, the U. S. Flag Code states that. “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 traditional method of retirement is to incinerate the flag, but his does not mean just tossing it into a fire.

The American Legion Auxiliary has set up a flag disposal box in the Municipal Building by the mayor’s office. You can also give an old flag to any Legion or Auxiliary member. The flags are collected and once a year on Flag Day they are retired with the help of the Boy Scouts.

At the ceremony, a symbolic flag is stretched out and cut, and the Scout leaders and Scouts have responsive readings.

The U.S. flag should be treated with respect when it’s flying, and it should be treated with respect when it’s being retired.

The flag ceases to be a flag if it is cut into pieces. We cut the flag into four pieces, three red-and-white striped banners and the blue star field. We leave the blue field intact because no one should ever let the union be broken. As the parts of the flag are placed in the fire, remember: Old flags never die, they just get fired up!”

One flag will have thea speech said over it and the other flags will be incinerated in the fire. After all flags get incinerated, the ashes will be collected and buried in a dignified spot.

On Flag Day, fly your flag, remembering the sacrificing that our forefathers fought and died for. Look at the Red, White & Blue and think about what they represent.

Let the Stars & the Stripes wave and Long May She Wave on High.

Linda Mider is Americanism Chairman, American Legion Auxiliary, Marion Unit 179, Blanchester. photo

Linda Mider

Contributing columnist