The D.W. Segars Memorial, American Legion, Post 1228, recently hosted a Flag Retirement Ceremony at Gilmore-Vines Stadium Park. The “Forever And Always Patriots Charity Organization of Dora, Alabama assisted in the program.
According to the US Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8(k), “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.” When the United States Flag (OLD GLORY) becomes worn, torn, faded, or badly soiled. It is time to replace it with a new flag, and the old Flag should be retired with all its dignity. Burning our Flag for any other reason is a dishonorable act.
American Legion Post 1228 Chaplain Cliff Fleming gave a prayer to start the ceremony. Sophia Theros sang the National Anthem for the ceremony. Members of Post 1228 lead the Pledge Of Allegiance.
The first Flag was presented for the ceremony, and the following was read.
“The United States flag is more than a brightly colored piece of cloth. It is a symbol of our nation. 7 red stripes and 6 white stripes together represent the original 13 colonies that gained us our liberty. The red stripes represent the life blood of the brave men and women who were ready to die for their country. The white stripes remind us of purity and cleanliness. The blue is for truth and justice, like eternal blue, with stars filling the heavens. The stars represent the 50 sovereign states of our union. The American creed states, “It’s 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. The United States flag should be treated with respect when it’s flying and also should be treated with respect when it’s being retired.”
As Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the USA was played, members of American Legion Post 1228 started to cut the stripes from the Flag and place them on a fire as the following was read.
“1st Stripe: The 13 stripes stand for the original 13 colonies. Delaware was settled in 1638, and Dover is its capital. They entered the union on December 7th, 1787.
2nd Stripe: Once again, the white stands for purity, and Pennsylvania is our 2nd colony, and they settled in 1682. Harrisburg is its capital, and they joined the union on December 12th, 1787.
3rd Stripe: The red stands for courage, and New Jersey was the 3rd colony, and they settled in 1660. Trenton is its capital, and they joined the union on December 18th, 1787.
4th Stripe: “Give me liberty or give me death.” Georgia was the 4th colony, and they settled in 1733. Atlanta is its capital, and they joined the union on January 2nd, 1788.
5th Stripe: “One if by land, two if by sea.” Connecticut was the 5th colony, and they settled in 1634. Hartford is its capital, and they joined the union on January 9th, 1788.
6th Stripe: “WE THE PEOPLE of the United States in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.” Massachusetts was the 6th colony, and they settled in 1620. Boston is its capital, and they joined the union on February 6th, 1788.
7th Stripe: “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Maryland was the 7th colony, and they settled in 1634. Annapolis is its capital, and they joined the union on April 28th, 1788.
8th Stripe: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” South Carolina was the 8th colony, and they settled in 1670. Columbia is its capital, and they joined the union on May 23rd, 1788.
9th Stripe: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or press.” New Hampshire was the 9th colony, and they settled in 1623. Concord is its capital, and they joined the union on June 21st, 1788.
10th Stripe: Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. Virginia was the 10th colony, and they settled in 1607. Richmond is its capital, and they joined the union on June 25th, 1788.
11th Stripe: “One nation under God.” New York was the 11th colony, and they settled in 1614. Albany is its capital, and they joined the union on June 26th, 1788.
12th Stripe: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can do for your country.” North Carolina is our 12th colony and settled in 1660. Raleigh is their capital and joined the union on November 21st, 1789.
13th Stripe: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Rhode Island is our 13th colony, and they settled in 1636. Providence is their capital. They joined the union on May 29th, 1790. “
After the first Flag, other flags were placed in the fires by members of Post 1228, Boy Scouts, 2020 Miss Teen Alabama United States Alexis Northcutt, and other community leaders. Mrs. Tennessee United States, Penny Billing, was in attendance for the ceremony. After all the flags were placed, the words “Remember Me” were spoken. The program ended with Taps’ playing and the retiring of the American Flag on the pole in the park.
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