(LEBANON TN) Murfreesboro's Troop 2019 conducted a formal retirement ceremony recently for worn American flags collected from listeners of WGNS Radio.
Members of the Scouts BSA unit, one of the first all-girl troops in the nation, held a campfire ceremony at Boxwell Scout Reservation near Lebanon, in which several banners were burned in a manner prescribed by the U.S. Flag Code and befitting the respect deserving of the symbol of our nation.
Troop 2019 adult leaders Kevin Phillips and Clark Neal, both Army veterans, presided at the solemn evening ceremony.
A ceremonial first flag was designated by the troop at the beginning of the ceremony, representative of all the flags to be burned in the service. Two Scouts, with fellow troop members in formation, brought the ceremonial flag near the campfire.
"This flag has served its nation well and long. It has worn to a condition in which it should no longer be used to represent the nation,” Phillips told the Scouts.
"This flag represents all of the flags collected and being retired from service today. The honor we show here this evening for this one flag, we are showing for all of the flags, even those not physically here."
Then, slowly and ceremoniously, the Scouts unfolded the flag, which was prepared in a customary triangle, placed it upon the fire and rendered appropriate honors.
WGNS, Murfreesboro’s Good Neighbor Station, has collected worn flags throughout the years, inviting its listerners to deposit the banners in a specially designated box at its downtown studio.
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 in 1923. According to the American Legion, 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 No. 176(k) on disposal of unserviceable flags.
Troop 2019, founded in February 2019, is sponsored by Trinity United Methodist Church and assisted by faculty and staff from Middle Tennessee State University under a partnership with the Middle Tennessee Council of Scouts BSA.