On a day when many proudly display the American flag on their homes, others were learning how to dispose of the nation's banner.
American Legion Post 700 taught members of Cub Scout Pack 122 and Girl Scout Troop 159 the proper way to dispose of worn, faded and tattered flags with respect and dignity July 4 immediatly following the township's annual Fourth of July parade.
"You do not throw away your flag into the trash," said Jim Campbell, commander of Post 700 and the 9th District command. "Doing that would show disrespect to veterans who made tremendous sacrifices - even their lives - to protect the freedoms that are represented by our nation's flag."
Howland Community News photos / Raymond L. Smith
Members of the Howland American Legion Post 700, Earl Thomas and Bud Luman show members of Cub Scout Pack 122 and Girl Scout Troop 159 the proper way to dispose of an American flag on Sunday. Scout members from left are Peyton Carroll, Natale Taylor, Mark Japuncha Jr., Rebecca Welker, Ray Kaso, Jacob Taylor and Mike Taylor.
The veterans and scouts burned several hundred flags - both large and small - during the retirement ceremony in which the commanders examined each flag to determine whether it should be taken out of commission.
If a flag is deemed too worn, it is unfolded, saluted and placed into red hot flames.
Campbell said anyone who does not want their flags can call local American Legion posts, fire departments or S.C.O.P.E. centers for proper disposal.
"We collect flags that are placed at veteran gravesites after Labor Day so we can dispose of them properly," Campbell said.
Michael Taylor, leader of Cub Scout Pack 122, which meets at Howland United Methodist Church, says his scouts not only learned the importance of the flag and how to handle it, but also the proper disposal.
"With this ceremony, the scouts can earn a variety of merit badges," Taylor said.