Flag Retirement


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DISPOSAL OF UNSERVICEABLE AMERICAN FLAGS

It is with great pride that Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Homes and Crematory serves as the only funeral home in the Wausau area which offers the use of our on-site crematory for the respectful disposal of unserviceable American Flags.  It is a privilege to provide this service to honor the memory and dignity of all those who have served a grateful Nation.

The United States Flag Code states that “The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

At the 1937 National Convention of the American Legion in New York, The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags was approved which laid out a formal procedure for Flags to be presented, inspected and honorably retired from further service. The following quotes are taken from this ceremony:

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“Comrades, we have presented here these Flags of our Country which have been inspected and condemned as unserviceable.  They have reached their present state in a proper service of tribute, memory and love.

A Flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze or a beautiful banner of finest silk.  Its intrinsic value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all that we and our comrades have worked for and lived for and died for - a free Nation of free men, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of Justice, Freedom and Democracy.

Let these faded Flags of our Country be retired and destroyed with respectful and honorable rites and their places be taken by bright new Flags of the same size and kind and let no grave of our soldier or sailor dead be unhonored and unmarked.

Almighty God, we thank Thee for our Country and its Flag, and for the liberty for which it stands.  To clean and purging flame we commit these Flags, worn-out in worthy service.  As they yield their substance to the fire, may Thy Holy Light spread over us and bring to our hearts renewed devotion to God and Country.  Amen.”

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