The burning of the American Flag when it is time to be retired from service has been a tradition dating back to 1937.
Oxford High School’s Marine Corps Junior ROTC will continue the tradition by participating in their very own annual retirement ceremony Wednesday, March 7.
“The reason that we do this every year is to take the cadets out into the population and have them put on a full demonstration,” Major Brent Hampton said, senior Marine instructor of MCJROTC.
The cadets put together the ceremony by themselves, Hampton said. They have to go through the process of creating an event, publicizing and performing.
“It [the ceremony] is to instill citizenship in their local community,” Hampton said. “It’s so that they can go out and demonstrate that they know how to properly dispose of the U.S. Flag.”
A flag is retired when it is torn, tattered and worn down.
“You could bury a flag if you wanted to, per the flag code,” Hampton said. “But the way we are going to dispose of these [flags] is with fire.”
The MCJROTC will use burn barrels, lighter fluid and wood to retire the flags.
“First, we will cut the flag into strips, and then we will have a one cadet at a time come up,” Hampton said.
A script about where each flag was flown will be read as each piece is thrown into the fire.
“The strips show that we are paying respect one piece at a time,” Hampton said.
MCJROTC will hold their annual Flag Retirement ceremony at The Mississippi Veterans of Foreign Wars 3978. The ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
By Talbert Toole, associate editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.