Flag Education and Respect
In the 1976 revision of the Flag Code by Congress, the symbolism of the United State flag is considered to be a living symbol representing a living country. This reference was added in response to the strong feelings of respect and reverence accorded by many of our citizens. In addition, the flag represents the many freedoms, rights, and responsibilities not entrusted to the citizens of any other country in the world. Therefore, the proper display and use of the United States flag is the responsibility of every American citizen.
Unique among nations, America is not held together by a shared ancestry, but we are held together by a set of values. The nation and its values are symbolized by the flag. Our Post promotes educating the citizenry in the proper way to display and care for this symbol of our national ideals and aspirations.
Flag Education Programs
We frequently provide flag education programs to Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops as well as elementary school children when requested.
Our veteran volunteers discuss the history of our flag and demonstrate how to properly display and fold the flag.
Each child is given a copy of our American Legion comic book "Our Country's Flag" which explains the history, significance, and proper treatment of U.S. flag
Collection of Unserviceable Flags
In 2007, we acquired a retired United States Postal Service mail collection box. With the addition of a decorative paint scheme and casters on its wheels, our "Old Glory" flag disposal box began to spend time at many public schools in the Town of Huntington.
In 2012, we also began to place our flag deposit box in the lobby of each of the town's eleven public libraries for a month at a time. The result has been the collection of nearly 1,000 flags per year.
We now have our flag disposal box assigned to libraries only. Any flag brought to any of these libraries, at any time, is directed to South Huntington Public Library for our eventual retrieval.
See link below for our current Flag Disposal Box Schedule:
A U.S. flag should be retired when it is ripped, faded, frayed or otherwise unserviceable as an emblem of the country. Though U.S. Code does not provide specific details on methods of destroying unserviceable flags, the American Legion developed its own ceremony to destroy flags respectfully through burning. Each year, we conduct a flag retirement ceremony at the Greenlawn Volunteer Fire Department at or near Flag Day or Veterans Day.
Due to volume of flags we have been collecting, and the toxicity of the fumes resulting from the synthetic materials now used for American flags, it has become necessary to us to turn to other methods other than the open burn method. We now open burn only cotton or wool flags at our retirement ceremony. All other flags of nylon or polyester are disposed of by Covanta of Huntington, a waste to energy facility in East Northport.
Covanta has a large number of veterans working there and the employees conduct honorary ceremonies year-round before flags are processed in bulk, Covanta Huntington facility manager Ken Hinsch said.
"When we get a large quantity, we'll run our boilers down, we'll fill the boilers with flags, and then we'll do the ceremony and do them all as one burn event, so that we can do them with dignity, hand salutes," Hinsch said.