The Flag Retirement Ceremony in Provo, Utah is an annual event that takes place on Flag Day weekend as part of the America’s Freedom Festival celebration in Utah County. Organized by Randy Edwards of the American Legion Department of Utah, the Flag Retirement Ceremony provides a dignified and patriotic environment for the disposing of worn and tattered American flags.
When our nation’s flag has become worn and tattered to the point where it is no longer fit for display, it should be taken down and properly retired. According to 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.”
The Boy Scouts of Troop 51 in Provo hosted the event, and had the honor of presenting the flags before they were to be retired. Organized in 1916, Troop 51 is the oldest Boy Scout Troop in Utah, and one of the oldest in the western United States. Scouting has a rich tradition in Utah, and it was great to see the scouts at the center of this patriotic ceremony.
Witnessing the retirement of our nation’s flag is both a humbling and patriotic experience. While most of us see the flag on a daily basis, we seldom get the chance to reflect upon the flag and the standard of freedom that it represents. I am grateful for the many men and women who have served this nation, and for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our flag and the freedoms we enjoy.
A full crowd waiting for the ceremony to begin
Opening remarks by Chairman Randy Edwards
Scouts from Troop 51 of Provo, UT
Presenting the flags to be retired
Paying respect to the retired flags