In honor of Flag Day, American Legion Post 164 hosted a flag retirement ceremony Friday, June 14, to put to rest more than 100 American Flags that were submitted to retirement boxes around the Yelm area. The ceremony was attended by a few dozen citizens.

Of course, the legion wasn’t alone in its endeavour. Boy Scout Troops 1932, 111 and 603, Girl Scout Troop 43891 and Cub Scout Pack 634 offered helping hands to the American Legion and assisted in the retirement of the flags.

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BSA 603 Troop Master Nate Sawyer salutes an American Flag as it burns.

“We could retire flags all night. That’s how many,” said Post Commander Allan Ohlsen.

Following ceremonial remarks prepared by the American Legion and given by Ohlsen, 2nd Vice Commander Butch Logan and Chaplin Jim Smith, scouts and legion members began the process of individually bringing flags to the fire, respectfully placing them in and giving the salute.

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A couple dozen Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts got the opportunity, multiple times, to retire flags Friday at American Legion Post 164. Well over 100 flags were retired. “We could retire flags all night. That’s how many,” said Commander Allan Ohlsen.

“It means a lot. We fought for this flag and the freedoms everyone gets,” said Logan, a Vietnam War veteran.

Sergeant at Arms of American Legion Post 164 Clay Williams retired one of the first flags during the ceremony. The three-year member said it’s important to retire a flag with two people because it adds extra security so that the flag doesn’t touch the ground.

Seeing the camaraderie between the scouts, the legion and community, Williams said the ceremony really is a special thing that brings Americans together.

“That’s what makes it so special, is the community coming together,” Williams said. “That’s our nation, our flag.”

The United States Flag Code establishes advisory rules for display and care of the national flag.

Title 4, Section 8 of the Flag Code says, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

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American Legion Post 164 Commander Allan Ohlsen, right, and Butch Logan, middle, 2nd Vice Commander, give the 2019 American Legion suggested remarks on Flag Retirement during a Friday afternoon ceremony.

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Walter Pruitt of American Legion 164, center, prepares the flags for retirement.

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Jim Smith, Butch Logan and Allan Ohlsen give the salute as Walter Pruitt and Sergeant Clay Williams retire the first flag Friday during an American Flag ceremony.

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