Flags laid to rest


The ceremony to dispose of unserviceable flags has been an integral part of the American Legion ritual since September of 1937.  The Boy Scout Handbook states: “A national flag that is worn beyond repair may be burned in a fire.  The ceremony should be conducted with dignity and respect and the flag burned completely to ashes.”

Eagle Scout hopeful, Frank Emmite, an 8th grade student at Madisonville Junior High, wanted to do just that for his Eagle Scout project.  At previous flag burning ceremonies held at Madisonville’s American Legion Post 84, a metal barrel had to be rolled over to the concrete platform and used as the fire pit to burn the flags.

“I just thought it would be nice to have a presentable fire pit to retire flags in a respectable manner,” says Emmite.

Emmite and other members of Boy Scout Troop 191 came together at the American Legion Post on Sunday, May 21, 2017, to complete the project.

The United States flag is more than just a banner.  The flag stands for the past, present and future of our country.  It represents the people, land and ways of life that many have suffered and died to provide the freedom to enjoy.  Providing a proper place to retire flags that have become unsightly is an honorable and respectable part of the spirit of the ceremony.

Emmite has participated in scouts since the third grade.  He is the first in his family to pursue becoming an Eagle Scout, but his mom and dad have been diligent supporters in leadership to his troops.

His favorite badge to earn has been the “Space Exploration” badge, in which he took a trip to NASA and got to spend the night in the Mars Exhibit. 

“Officially, I want to be a doctor when I grow up, but unofficially, I dream of being an MLG Gamer,” says Emmite. 

Major League Gaming Inc. (MLG) is an eSports organization for professional level competitive gaming. Although video games have gotten a bad rap with the older generations, if inspected, extreme skill and knowledge is required to ever be successful in the gaming world, not to mention, there is a lot of money to be made there. 

When asked what he thought the difference was between kids that enter the gaming world and exit reality, and kids that can keep gaming in the appropriate place of just a game, Emmite’s response proved that intelligence does not have to escape you, explaining, ”I think the problem is that a lot of kids don’t have parents or authority figures to teach them morals and Godly characteristics, so playing violent or gruesome games seems to imprint their character, rather than it being imprinted by their parents.”

A Flag Retirement Ceremony will be held on Flag Day, June 14, 2017.  Emmite urges anyone who has a flag that is not presentable to donate it to the American Legion Post 84 in Madisonville, for a proper retirement to do them justice.

You can contact the Madisonville American Legion or Boy Scout Troop 191 for more information.