The U.S. Flag is many things to many people, but one thing it often is is beaten up.
It’s out there in wind, rain, snow, hail, whatever Mother Nature can throw at it, and a piece of cloth can only take so much.
That’s where Cub Scout Pack 62 in Brookfield comes in.
The pack held a flag-burning ceremony June 14 – Flag Day – at Brookfield Township Community Park.
The U.S. Flag Code says a flag should be retired when it is “no longer a fitting emblem for display.” It should be disposed of with dignity, and the preferred method of disposal is burning, the code says.
The scouts and members of Brookfield Rotary Club, which sponsors the pack, held a ceremony that included readings that outlined the purpose, meaning and symbolism of the flag, and the proper disposal technique.
“It means who served our country, people who are saving our country, helping people to work for saving our country,” 10-year-old Cody Patterson of Pack 62 said of what the flag means to him.
Scout Troop 3 of Sharon, which has members from Brookfield and Masury, also participated.
No one made an exact count of the number of flags but Pack 62 Cubmaster Matt Glover said he had more than 100 flags to dispose of. Community members who were aware of the ceremony passed on their tattered remnants of Old Glory, and the Rotary provided a bunch that had been a part of its Fly the Flag program.
The Rotary will raise a flag in the yard of a business, organization or individual for $25. It’s a fundraiser but also boosts community spirit, said Rotary member Jean McKenzie.
After a few years, those flags start showing their ages, she said.
Glover said the pack plans to hold a flag-burning ceremony next year, preferably on Flag Day.
“It’s an honor to do,” he said. “It’s a civic duty of ours’.”
The pack is on summer hiatus and will hold its next meeting in September, Glover said. For information, the pack has a Facebook page.
Anyone who would like to participate in the Fly the Flag program can contact Rotary member Daniel Briceland at 330-509-3135.
In top photo, Jesse Wilkes tosses a flag in the burn barrel.