When to Dispose of the Flag

Handling & Care

When a Flag is worn beyond repair, it should be retired in a dignified manner. The most accepted manner is to cut the blue field of stars from the red and white stripes, thereby no longer rendering it a flag. The resulting two pieces of cloth are burned in one or two separate fires that are used for nothing else except the retirement ceremony.

The pieces of cloth should be thoroughly burned so that nothing is left that is recognizable as a flag. The ashes should be scattered or buried. In many communities, organizations like the American Legion and Boy Scouts have ceremonies to retire flags throughout the year.