The official way to dispose of Old Glory

Tupper Lakers burn worn-out U.S. flags

Tupper Lake village Mayor Paul Maroun, right, salutes Girl Scout Libby Gillis at Tupper Lake’s annual flag burning ceremony Saturday. (Photo provided)

TUPPER LAKE — Saturday, the day after Flag Day, this town held its annual flag burning ceremony, disposing of worn-out United States flags in the official, proper way.

The event, held behind the Veterans of Foreign Wars building on Park Street, saw the disposal of more than 1,000 flags in four-and-a-half hours. U.S. Flag Code is very specific about use and handling of a flag when it is in use as an emblem and is just as specific when it comes time to get rid of a flag that has faded, formed holes or sustained other wear and tear.

“The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing,” the Flag Code states.

The American Legion Auxiliary and Girl Scouts handle the flag burning, according to veteran and village Mayor Paul Maroun. The Girl Scouts carry the folded flags from one table to Maroun and Tracy Luton, VFW Post 3120 commander and a town councilwoman, who salute each flag before it is carried to the burn table. The flags are then incinerated in a barrel.

Maroun said Tupper Lakers can drop off flags at the VFW and American Legion halls throughout the year to be disposed at this annual event.