By Mike Steely

Senior Writer

Have you ever seen the proper retirement of a United States flag? Did you know there is an official way to do it?

On Saturday, May 15 the American Legion Post and the cadets of the Army JROTC Cherokee Battalion of South-Doyle High School will host a retirement ceremony for worn and damaged flags. The opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. and will continue until all the old flags are burned or until 2 p.m. the following afternoon.

The flag retirement event takes place at 5700 Old Rutledge Pike in Knoxville. You can get more information at or contact Adjutant Norita Cruz at (865) 585-3280 or

What’s the official way to retire flags?

The flag should be folded in its customary manner.

It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.

Place the flag on the fire.

The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.

After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.

Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.