Feel Free to drop by one of our  meetings, which are held
on the 1st Monday of the month at 1100  hours (11:00 AM)

            Greenburgh Town Hall
               77 Hillside Avenue
      Greenburgh, New York 10607
The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags is
National Convention of The American Legion in New
York, Sept. 20-23, 1937. The ceremony has been an integral
part of American Legion ritual since that date. The
resolution reads as follows:

WHEREAS, Americanism has been and should continue to be one of the major programs
of The American Legion; and
WHEREAS, The observance of proper respect for the Flag of our country and the
education of our citizenry in the proper courtesies to be paid the Flag is an essential
element of such Americanism program; and
WHEREAS, It is fitting and proper that Flags which have been used for the decoration of
graves on Memorial Day be collected after such service, inspected, and worn and
unserviceable Flags be condemned and properly destroyed; and
WHEREAS, The approved method of disposing of unserviceable Flags has long been that
they be destroyed by burning, but no ritual for such destruction or ceremony in connection
therewith has been adopted by The American Legion or included in its official manual of
Ceremonies; therefore be it
RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in New York City,
September 20-23, 1937, that the ritual submitted herewith be adopted for use by The
American Legion and that it be made the official ceremony for the destruction of
unserviceable American Flags and to be included as such in the Manual of Ceremonies,
Revised, of The American Legion.
The purpose of The American Legion in adopting this ceremony was to encourage proper
respect for the Flag of the United States and to provide for disposal of unserviceable flags
in a dignified manner. Resolution No. 373, approved by the National Convention of The
American Legion meeting in Chicago, Illinois, September 18-20, 1944, re-emphasized the
purpose of proper public Flag disposal ceremonies and encouraged greater use of this
ceremony by The American Legion. The resolution adopted is as follows:
WHEREAS, Our Flag which we love and cherish
WHEREAS, In a proper service of tribute and memory and love, our Flag becomes faded
and worn and must be honorably retired from life; and
WHEREAS, Such retirement of Flags that have become unserviceable may be done in
public with respectful and honorable rites: therefore be it
RESOLVED, That The American Legion in convention assembled at Chicago, Illinois,
September 18-20, 1944, urge that the National Headquarters use all means to foster and
promote through the proper channels, the greater use of the official American Legion
Ceremony for the Disposal of Unserviceable Flags as outlined in the Manual of
Ceremonies; and be it further
RESOLVED, That Flag Day, June 14, be recommended as the most appropriate day on
which to annually hold this ceremony.
A set of rules of civilian flag courtesy popularly known as the Flag Code was first
formulated by the National Flag Conference meeting in Washington, June 14-15, 1923.
The Flag Code was an attempt by prominent patriotic organizations to collect together in
one instrument statutes, executive orders, and rules of established custom and usage
relating to the U.S. flag. On Dec. 22, 1942, the 77th Congress approved Public Law 829,
giving official sanction to most of the provisions of the Flag Code. This public law
established the Flag Code in Title 36, U.S. Code, Chapter 10, Sections 173-178, including
the Flag Code § 176(k) on disposal of unserviceable flags.
We are of the opinion that The American Legion’s Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable
Flags is a dignified tribute to the U.S. flag and to its symbolism. We therefore conclude that
this ceremony is both legal and proper, and that it is an effective instrument for promoting
enhanced respect for the U.S. flag. Following is the entire ceremony as it appears in the
“Manual of Ceremonies.” We encourage your use of the ceremony on Flag Day, June 14,
on an annual basis. By doing so, you will enhance respect to the flag in your community
and provide a much-needed service to those who have flags needing to be retired.
Ceremony for the Disposal of Unserviceable Flags The post assembles in meeting, out-of-
doors, at night. Members are aligned in two parallel rows about 20 feet apart, facing each
other. Officers are at their stations. A small fire is burning opposite the commander and
beyond the rows of members.