Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Retiring the American Flag with Honor: The City of Southlake’s Flag Disposal Program

If you ask Americans what the U.S. flag represents, you may hear various responses. To some, the flag represents freedom and bravery. To others, patriotism and hope. Although there is no wrong answer, the flag is symbolic of our country’s core values and must be respected at all times.

While the respect factor may always last, the flag, like many products, is made of material that may fade and experience wear and tear over time, which is why the Southlake Department of Public Safety offers a Flag Disposal Program to help citizens properly dispose of the American flag.

Disposing of the flag is simple; all you have to do is take your flag to any DPS Station in Southlake and give it to a staff member to leave in the flag donation box. A local Boy Scouts of America Troop member will pick up the flags and dispose of them properly. The scouts follow the same protocol call similar to Title 4 of the U.S. Flag Code, which states, “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.”

Although burning the flag is preferred and one of the most well-known methods, other options for disposal are available.

“Flags are sometimes made of synthetic materials, which can be harmful when burned, so other options are available, though the flag is always treated with dignity as it befits the symbol of our country,” Simon McLean, scoutmaster of troop 168, said.

“Respect for the flag and good citizenship is also why Troop 168 is honored to raise and lower flags at Southlake Town Square on federal holidays,” he added.

Although the City of Southlake DPS has a place to collect flags, they can also be given directly to the troops.

“We seem to have no shortage of flags for retirement ceremonies for Troop 555 as people will give them to our Scout families or drop them off at the church where our troop meets. We incorporate flag retirement ceremonies at our troop campouts or troop meetings from time to time,” Troop 555 Committee Chair LaRue Corbin said.

Below is the list of DPS locations for flag drop off:

DPS Headquarters – Station 1
600 State Street
Southlake, TX 76092

DPS West – Station 2
2100 W. Southlake Boulevard
Southlake, Texas 76092

DPS North – Station 3
Training Center
100 E. Dove Road
Southlake, Texas 76092

Stars and Stripes Sunday, July 3