Flag Retirement

Frank Pemper places the flags in the fire to retire them.

HOUSTON – Members of the Houston Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter gathered together last Monday to give “Old Glory” a proper send off.

This year marked the 16th flag retirement ceremony, and despite the current problems faced by many, the public showed up in support of the event.

Cara Chisolm, one of the coordinators of the event addressed everyone present with a little bit of history about the ceremony and its meaning.

“The flag is a symbol of our country,” she said. “The flag should be treated with respect when it is flying and it should be treated with respect when it is retired. The American Creed states 'it is my duty to my country to love it, to respect its constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag and to defend it against all enemies.' Therefore we retire flags with dignity and respect when they become worn, torn, faded or heavily soiled. The members of the VFW have, all these years, faithfully retired the flags. Veterans of Foreign Wars, who better knows what the flag represents?”

Mr. Frank Pemper of the VFW placed the flags into the fire, giving them the proper send off.

In total, 52 flags were collected and retired this year.

According to Chisolm, it is a surreal experience watching the ceremony.

The day following the ceremony, once the flames die out, a member of the VFW is to return and bury the ashes, signifying a true end to its legacy.

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