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Proper Disposal Ceremonies on Tap for Flag Day

June 14, 2002|Associated Press

CHICAGO — Many of the flags that have been waving furiously since Sept. 11 have reached their tattered end and will be disposed of ceremonially today in Flag Day observances around the country.

Civilians inexperienced in the proper disposal of a worn-out U.S. flag--folding and burning it in a solemn ceremony--have turned to groups like the American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"We call it 'disposing of the flag,' " said Ernie Sanchez, 62, past commander of American Legion Montoya y Montoya, Post 1, in Santa Fe, N.M. "We don't 'burn' the flag. Only hippies burn the flag, antiwar radicals of the '60s and '70s. We dispose of them properly."

"To me this is a special day, like the Fourth of July, if not even more so," Sanchez said.

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