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Retired from service


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Handle with care: World War II veteran Ralph Wesner (left), 89, and Paul Baker (right) help carry old American flags to storage. The tattered and faded flags will be burned in a special ceremony Saturday. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)
Handle with care: World War II veteran Ralph Wesner (left), 89, and Paul Baker (right) help carry old American flags to storage. The tattered and faded flags will be burned in a special ceremony Saturday. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)

The next step: Air Force veteran Dick Nolan gathers old flags for Saturday's ceremony. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)
The next step: Air Force veteran Dick Nolan gathers old flags for Saturday's ceremony. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)


The old shards of cloth are tired, poor, huddled masses of refuse now that they’re too tattered to fly proudly from front porches and school yards.

But the hundreds of U.S. flags that can no longer be displayed won’t be unceremoniously dumped. Etiquette demands that retired flags must be properly disposed of by burning them in a dignified manner, and a group of Hancock County veterans will gather Saturday for a special ceremony to set them aflame. The veterans have collected around 1,200 old flags for the service, which will be held at the La Place recreational property on Steele Ford Road, 1.25 miles south of Morristown Pike. The service is open the public and will begin around 6:30 p.m.

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