Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

June 19, 2013

DAR holds flag retirement ceremony


CROSSVILLE — With flags flying and lots of patriotism, the ladies of the Crab-Orchard Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution began the "Committal of our Flag to the Flames" ceremony at 1 p.m. on Flag Day, June 14. The annual ceremony was held at First National Bank of Tennessee on Peavine Rd and was said to have drawn the largest crowd to date.  The American flag is a great symbol of our nation and serves as a reminder of the long struggle of a people who fought to become free from tyranny. June 14 is the anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official U.S. flag in 1777. The U.S. Flag Code is a set of guidelines that regulates the display and handling of the flag to ensure it is regarded with the utmost respect. American flags should be disposed of when they become torn, tattered or faded; however, they are not to be thrown away. They should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.

As members of the DAR read aloud several patriotic writings, others began the deconstruction and burning of a flag. For the many who have never witnessed a flag retirement ceremony, first, the field of stars is cut from the flag and held up behind the fire as each stripe is removed. Each stripe represents a state from the original 13; the name of a state is read aloud and their stripe is committed to the flames. This continues until all 13 stripes have been consumed in the fire. Finally, the field of stars is burned.

The Young Marines were on hand to retire the colors and Dwight Wages, of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass, performed "Taps" as members of the Lieutenant William P. Quarles Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, fired flintlock rifles.

This year’s Flag Day Ceremony is in honor of all veterans living in Cumberland County who served in our country’s military to protect our freedoms during war and peace.