More Than 200 Flags Retired During Ceremony - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/11/05-Tyler

More Than 200 Flags Retired During Ceremony

We pledge our allegiance to it. We lower it for respect. The U.S. flag is a symbol of American freedom and sacrifice.
But when weather and time take its toll on our nation's symbol, we continue to show it the same honor and respect.
More than 200 flags were retired during a ceremony Saturday in Tyler.
The Smith County ceremony began after September 11th, when so many Americans flew the stars and stripes with a renewed patriotism.
Each with a different meaning, the flags are first folded 13 times.
"When the flag is completely folded the stars are uppermost," said Colonel Cole, "reminding us of our nations youth, in 'God We Trust.'"
With the strike of a match, the flag is burned. Not out of dishonor, but out of the highest respect.
"It's much better and honorable to do it this way and completely destroy the flag," said Mike Everheart with the Sons of the American Revolution. "Rather than throwing them in the trash can, or sticking them in a box in a closet our out in the garage."
"It makes me feel very proud," said Ashley Scoonover, Cadet Commander with the Civil Air Patrol. "I love my country and I plan on serving. This really shows how the community feels about our flag and the symbol. I couldn't imagine a better way to do it. There shouldn't be any other way with such dignity and honor."
This was the fourth year the flag retirement ceremony was held.
Tyler and Smith County hope it will continue to be annual event. Since it began more than 1,000 flags have been retired. If you have a flag you want to retire, you can drop it off at any Tyler fire station.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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