Big Collection Of Flag Retirement Ceremonies

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The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesBig Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesTable of ContentsBig Collection of Flag Retirement Ceremonies.1General Notes on Flag Retirements.1Safety.1Public Relations.2Copyright.2Buglers.2Additional Resources.2Openings for Flag Retirements.4General Opening 1.4For a flag on a pole:.4For a folded flag:.4Ceremonies for Retiring natural fibre Flags by Burning.6Voice of the Flag.6Simple 1.8Simple 2 with song.8Old Glory.9Stripes and Field audience participation.10Sixty Seconds flag tribute.11Taps.11Our Flag Rest in Peace.11I Am Your Gift.12A Flag of 13 Stripes.14Patriotic Reading.16Flag Keepers Ceremony.17Remember Me?.19Ceremonies for disassembly of synthetic flags.20Red and White.20Four Pieces.20Ceremonies for very large flags.22Original 13 States history.22Cleanup and Disposal.23Fire pit.23Synthetic Flag parts.23Leave No Trace.23Last Revised 9/1/2011Page 1

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesGeneral Notes on Flag RetirementsSafety The fire pit area must be prepared so as not to burn any ground or endanger foliage orstructures nearby. There must be buckets of waterneaby and a hose. A fire blanket to smother a fire is alsorecommended in case clothes catches fire. There must be adequate space for the color guard and an audience to escape the smokedepending on wind direction There must be sufficient fire controls (water, sand, fire extingushers) nearby. Accidentiallycatching clothing on fire is a very real risk here. There must be a suitable first aid kit. Some eye wash for washing out smoke particals isrecommended. There should be an emergency evacuation plan to the nearest hospital. Burn injuries are avery real risk. The fire poker stick must be of suitable length for the size and heat of the fire. A fire safety officer should be designated for larger gatherings or multiple fire pits. The Guide to Safe Scouting prohibits the use of any liquid or gel fire accelerants such asalcohol or kerosine. Many retirement 'tips' recommend soaking a flag in alcohol or kerosineand this is specifically prohibited.Public RelationsIf this flag retirement is held in a public venue and large crowds are expected, it would be wise toinvite police and fire to participate. Contact the local newspapers and have an article or at least the relevant facts ready. Who is sponsoring the event When/Where/What Invite the public. Be Prepared to accept more flags from the public.CopyrightEvery effort was made to collect only Flag Retirements which are in the public domain or wherepermission is given. If any ceremony infringes on a valid copyright claim, kindly remove it fromthis collection with apologies.Nearly all songs and song words are copyright. If a songsheet is printed for reference under fairuse, mark the sheets to be returned to the unit and collect them after each ceremony so they are notdeemed to be 'distributed'.Last Revised 9/1/2011Page 2

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesBuglers Buglers should be well rehearsed and instrument should be clean and shiny. Buglers should stand a little ways to the side so as not to be too loud for the audience.Additional Resources "Your Flag" BSA PublicationPermits and RegulationsYou may need to obtain a fire department or burn permit if the campfire is in an non-establishedlocatoin or is longer than an allotted period of time.The California AQMD provides an exemption for campfires smaller than 3 feet in diameter and forflag retirement ceremonies.You may need to provide proof of insurance or obtain event insurance for large public gatherings.File a BSA Tour Permit for the event.File a Unit Money Earning Application if appropriate.Parking, Access and Accomodations Does the location have adqeuate parking nearby Is there handicap access? Some veterans may be of advanced age, in wheel chairs, ordisabled. Are there restroom facilities nearby? Do you have some shade and seating? Do you have water for guests and staff (avoid dehyration and heat stroke)Last Revised 9/1/2011Page 3

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesOpenings for Flag RetirementsGeneral Opening 1This opening may be combined with a retirement ceremony below.SPEAKER: We are drawn here together in the sight of God to pay our last respects to this symbolof our great nation, "America", the land of the free and the home of the brave.The US Flag Code reads; "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblemfor display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."The Boy Scouts of America recommends; "When the national flag is worn beyond repair, burn itthoroughly and completely on a modest, but blazing fire. This should be done in a simple mannerwith dignity and respect. Be sure the flag is reduced to ashes unrecognizable as a former flag."In keeping with the law of our land and the recommendations of our organization, we present toyou, this(these) United States Flag(s), the symbol of our great nation, which has served its(their)useful life as a symbol of freedom and our country, for retirement.Ask the audience for silence and call for the colorsSPEAKER: "Color Guard. present the Colors"For a flag on a pole:The Color Guard, in full uniform, will march forward with the "Old Flag" attached to aFlag Pole, flag bearer in the center with one guard in front, and one guard in back. They areto come up the aisle(s), from the rear of the area.As the flag approaches the view of the first person in the audience.SPEAKER "Scouts. Hand Salute One."Everyone is to remain saluting until the Color Guard crosses behind the fire (in front of theMC) and lines up behind the flag stand.SPEAKER "Post the Colors"The Flag Bearer will insert the flag into the flag stand, and all three will then step back andsalute the flag.SPEAKER: “Two”[This ceremony continues nicely with "Voice of the Flag" on the next page.]For a folded flag:The Color Guard, in full uniform, will march forward with the "Old Flag" folded in atriangle and carried like a football, flag bearer in the center with one guard in front, andone guard in back. They are to come up the aisle(s), from the rear of the area. The colorguard come to a stop at the front center and faces the audience. They then unfold the flaguntil it is just folded in half lengthwise. The blue field should be to the audience's left.Last Revised 9/1/2011Page 4

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesDepending on which ceremony follows, you may present colors here or later. Remember tonot make the salute too long, and don't salute while singing.SPEAKER "Present Colors, Scout Salute"The color guard snaps the flag open.SPEAKER "Two"Last Revised 9/1/2011Page 5

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesCeremonies for Retiring natural fibre Flags by BurningVoice of the FlagVoice of the Flag: "I am your Flag. I was born on June 14, 1777. I am more than just a piece ofcloth shaped into a colorful design, I am the silent sentinel of freedom for the greatest sovereignnation on earth. I am the inspiration for which America patriots gave their lives and fortunes, I amthe emblem of America.I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to Vietnam. I have been there though the CivilWar, Two World wars, at Gettysburg, Flanders, Korea, the Gulf War, all of them. I was there withGeorge Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and I here with younow.I have flown through Peace and War. Through strife and Prosperity, and amidst it all, I have alwaysbeen respected. My red stripes symb olize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation. Mywhite stripes, the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons in battle. My blue fieldrepresents God's Heaven under which I fly, and my stars, clustered together, unify the fifty states asone for God and Country.I am "Old Glory" and I proudly wave on high. Honor me, respect me, and defend me with yourlives. Never let our enemies tear me down from my lofty position, lest I never return. Keep alightthe fires of patriotism, strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy, and keep me always as a symbolof freedom, liberty, and peace in our country. When comes the time when I am old and faded, do notlet me fly in disrepair, rather retire me from my duties only to replace me with a new flag so that Imay continue to symbolize our country. With this, renew your commitment to what I stand for andpledge your allegiance to me one final time:SPEAKER: "Scouts. Hand Salute One! To the audience: Please join me in the Pledge ofAllegiance:""I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which itstands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all."SPEAKER: "Two"Second Voice : As you can see, this banner of Freedom before you is worn, tattered, and soiledfrom use and age. Her broad stripes are no longer a fiery red & pure white, but faded and worn out.The stars and blue background are no longer vivid reminders of our blue skies and great land, of thepurity, vigilance, and justice she should represent. She has flown proudly over the years and hasdone her job well, but now she must be replaced with a new flag to properly represent this greatNation of ours.Retiring the ColorsSPEAKER: "Color Guard(s), Remove Colors"At this time the Color Guard is to step forward and remove the flag from the Flag Stand.They will then step back and fold the flag in the customary manner. They are to then stepback and stand at attention with the Flag Bearer holding the flag in front of him, palmsLast Revised 9/1/2011Page 6

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement Ceremoniesup.SPEAKER: "Color Guard(s), Retire Colors"At this time the Color Guard is to march over to the fire, unfold the flag, and present it to theaudience in standard display form, one Guard Standing behind and to the right of the flag, and theother two holding each end of the flag for display.Third Voice: The flag of our Nation should always be a strong, vivid symbol of our land and flybrightly in our minds. Our flag is a symbol of our people, our freedom, and our strength. So it isnow that I commit this flag, which no longer can fulfill these duties to the fire so that we mayreplace it with a new flag to properly symbolize our Nation. May the spirit of this flag be born againin the new flag we will now fly"SPEAKER: Scouts. Hand Salute One"At this time the Color Guard will turn the flag sideways and gently drop it into the fire, folding theends in toward the middle of the flame. The third Guard will use a long stick to then "stir the ashes"so that it will not be possible to recognize the ashes as a flag. They will then step back from the fireand stand at attention, and salute the flag.SPEAKER: "Two"SPEAKER: Color Guard(s). Prepare Colors"At this time, the Color Guard(s) will march over to where the "new" flag Bearer is. The New FlagBearer will hand the new flag to the Color Guard Flag Bearer and step back. The Color Guard willthen march back to where they were standing behind the flag stand and stand at attention:SPEAKER: "Color Guard. Present Colors" " Scouts. Hand salute One"The Color Guard will then unfold the flag, remove the pole from the stand and attach it to the pole.They will then stand at attention, presenting the colors.SPEAKER: "Please join me and welcoming this new flag by once again pledging our allegiance toit:" "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which itstands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all."SPEAKER: "Two. Color Guard, withdraw the colors, audience please withdraw, in silence, toyour campsites behind the flag and reflect upon this evening’s ceremony and the recent events thathave inflicted our country and the people of the world with your scouts.Color Guard marches colors, with audience behind, from council ring up path all the way to themain parade area, before breaking ranks and removing flag from pole and folding.Last Revised 9/1/2011Page 7

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesSimple 1After the introductory or opening comments, the color guard marches in, presents the colors, thenretires the flag in the fire while the audience quietly salutes.Simple 2 with songA simple flag retirement accompanied by a patriotic song.Have songsheets available for the audience.After the introductory or opening comments, the color guard marches in, presents the colors, thenretires the flag while the audience is singing.Suitable tunes are: America the Beautiful (Copyright owned by the BSA) Grand Old Flag Old Glory The Star Spangled BannerLast Revised 9/1/2011Page 8

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesOld GloryColor Guard comes forward, Troop at attention. Announcer hidden out of sight begins speaking:Hello,Remember me?Some people call me "Old Glory"Others call me the "Star Spangled Banner"But whatever they call me, I am your Flag,The Flag of the United States of America.Something has been bothering me, so I thought I might talk it over with you. because it is aboutyou. and me.I remember some time ago people lined up on both sides of the street to watch a parade, andnaturally I was leading every parade, proudly waving in the breeze. When your Daddy saw mecoming, he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder, so that his hand wasdirectly over his heart.Remember?And you, I remember you. Standing there straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat, but you weregiving the right salute. Remember little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you,with her hand over her heart. Remember?What happened? I'm still the same old flag. Oh, I have a few more stars now and a lot more bloodhas been shed since those days long ago. But now I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I comedown the street you just stand there with your hands in your pockets, and I may get a small glance,but then you look away.Then I see children running around and shouting; they don't seem to know who I am. I saw oneman take off his hat, then he looked around and saw no one else with their hat off, so he quickly puthis hat back on.Is it a sin to be patriotic now? Have you forgotten what I stand for? And where I've been?Anzio.Normandy. Quadal canal.Iwo Jima.Korea. Vietnam. and the Persian Gulf?Take a look at the Memorial Honor Rolls sometime. Note the names of those who never came back;they died to keep this republic free. One Nation Under God!When you salute me. you are actually saluting them.Well, it won't be long now until I'll be coming down your street again.So when you see me, standstraight, place you right hand over you heart, and I'll salute you by waiving back. and I'll know.YOU REMEMBEREDTroop Salute:Color Guard, retire the flag.After the entire flag has burned. At ease or " two".Color Guard dismissed.Last Revised 9/1/2011Page 9

The Big Collection of Flag Retirement CeremoniesStripes and Field audience participationPreparation notes: The flag should be prepared by snipping the thicker end seamsSharp scissors or a knife is required.In this ceremony, a flag is disassembled stripe by stripe and the audience is invited to participate by placing each stripin the fire with a moment's silent reflection. Each stripe can be accompanied by a narrator reading off the state names.Our Flag was born on June 14th, 1777, amid the first flames of America's fight for independence. Itrepresented 13 colonies who together fought oppression so that we today could enjoy our freedom.From those 13 colonies we have grown into a nation of 50 states. Since those days our country hasbeen a beacon of freedom for other peoples from around the world. We have sent men and womeninto harms way to keep that beacon lit. Our flag flew proudly in 1812 when our freedom was indoubt. It was there at Fort Sumpter, Gettysburg and at Appomatox. In W

Sep 01, 2011 · The Big Collection of Flag Retirement Ceremonies Ceremonies for Retiring natural fibre Flags by Burning Voice of the Flag Voice of the Flag: "I am your Flag. I was born on June 14, 1777. I am more than just a piece of cloth shaped into a colorful design, I am the silent sentin

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