RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s Flag Day. One of the rituals on this day is disposing of old or worn American flags.
Beneath the smoke and flames during the ceremony is a torn, faded or soiled American flag.
“Cutting the flag and then retiring stripe by stripe, and then finally retiring the blue field with stars,” said Girl Scout leader Kristen Sillence as she described the process to retire a flag.
The reason the field of stars is cut out as a whole is because each state is part of the union, and the union shouldn’t be broken apart, according to the flag code.
A flag retirement ceremony is a process Sillence said not many people know exists.
“I think a lot of people don’t know what they are supposed to do with the flag when it gets worn, so the first instinct is oh it just goes into the trash,” she said.
That is why on Wednesday night, Boy and Girl Scouts will be having a flag retirement ceremony in Rio Rancho.
For some scouts, it will be a first.
“I am excited to see how the flag ceremony happens because I have not seen one before,” Girl Scout Kiera said. “I think sitting together watching it for all of our first times will be really cool.”
Sharing and learning a part of history on Flag Day is what inspired scout leaders to hold the ceremony.
“If you have never had a chance to be at a flag retirement ceremony, it’s really moving and beautiful and we are trying to involve veterans…also,” Sillence said.
The ceremony is at 7:30 p.m. at Community of Joy Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho.
For more information about how to properly fly and dispose of the American flag, click here.