American Legion American Flag Retirement Program in Howard County, Maryland
The American Legion Post #156 in Ellicott City started the ball rolling just last Fall when the Post Commander (Ed Hall) noticed American Flags being disposed of at the Alpha Ridge Land Fill. He recovered as many flags as he possibly could for proper retirement in accordance with The United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k which states-“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.” The matter was taken up to the Howard County Veterans Counsel and County Executive Allen Kittleman helped move forward the idea of placing receptacles specifically for the collection of worn American Flags at the Alpha Ridge Landfill. The first container was installed in November of 2015.
This public service project is showing what a need existed in the community. On Saturday, March 26, 2016 the first retirement of American Flags was conducted at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7472 Members of both American Legion Post #156 and Post #300 along with VFW Post #7472 and the Civil Air Patrol worked to properly prepare Five-Hundred-Twenty-Two (522) American Flags for the ceremony that properly and respectfully honors the symbol of our Great Nation. Members of The Boy Scout Troup 851 were instructed on the performance of the ceremony and carried out the retirement of the American Flags under the direction of their Scout-Master Ron Whitehead (member of Post 156). It was a moving ceremony which Veterans and Scouts alike paid homage to the sacrifices made that have made our nation possible and a guiding light in the world.