On Saturday, Nov. 9th members of the Rush County Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts held a flag retirement ceremony at the fire station in LaCrosse. Scoutmaster Mike Dinsmore told Hays Post that about 150 full sized flags and 450 miniature flags were disposed of in accordance with United States Code. Military veterans from WWII and Vietnam War were among other veterans present and were recognized by Dinsmore during the ceremony.
Dinsmore said the Scouts, American Legion and VFW have been collecting United States flags that were deemed too tattered or dirty to be displayed properly. One Girl Scout, 3 Cub Scouts and 3 Boy Scouts attended the ceremony. Dinsmore explained some of the ceremony.
“The first ceremonial flag, you have to cut in quarters: you have a saying and you cut the blue field out, and then the others you cut into quarters basically. You have a saying about the stripes, then you place each part in a fire and you burn it to ashes. You have to make sure to burn every flag completely to ashes.”
Dinsmore said that his understanding is that once the ceremonial flag is burning, the remaining flags can be set in as long as someone attends to the fire. He added that it’s been a couple years since the scouts have held a flag disposal, and he’s working with the American Legion to explore the possibility of doing this every year for the community.
This event was not part of a merit badge for the Scouts: instead, it was just one of many community services provided by area Scouts. Dinsmore had a message for the public on behalf of his troop.
“I’d just like to encourage people: if they see a Scout, support them in anything they do. Also, the Rush County Scouts would like to wish all veterans Happy Veteran’s Day. God bless, and thank [you] for your service.”