Local VFW Post 5620 and the local American Legion Post teamed up Friday to hold a flag retirement ceremony at the Panola County Charter School Friday.
Jim Kimberly of the VFW welcomed attendees to the ceremony, reminding them that the day was Flag Day.
“Flag Day is a time when Americans reflect on the foundations of the nation’s freedom,” he said. “The flag of the United States represents freedom and has been an enduring symbol of our country’s ideals since its early days. Many Americans also remember their loyalty to our nation, reaffirm their belief in liberty and justice and observe the nation’s unity.”
Kimberly said that they were drawn together to pay last respects to the symbol, and he read from the United States flag code.
“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,” he read. “When the national flag is worn beyond repair, burn it thoroughly and completely on a modest but blazing fire. This should be done in a simple manner with dignity and respect. Be sure the flag is reduced to ashes, unrecognizable as a former flag.”
After this, Scott Dyer, retired Master Chief from the Coast Guard, read a passage from the perspective of the American flag.
“I am your flag,” Dyer read. “I was born on June 14, 1777. I am more than just a piece of cloth shaped into a colorful design. I am a silent sentinel of freedom, the greatest sovereign nation on Earth. I’m the inspiration for which American patriots gave their lives and fortunes. I am the emblem of America.”
The pledge of allegiance was said, and the national anthem was sung, and afterwards the first flag was folded and burned. The audience was then invited to come and help retire the many American flags that were brought for the ceremony. There were several Texas flags and other flags retired in the fire as well.