Boy Scouts retire tattered U.S. flags

Twelve Boy Scouts of The Monadnock Troop, Troop 33 of Jaffrey, held a formal ceremony Friday evening to retire dozens of tattered and worn-out U.S. flags they had collected from organizations, businesses and individuals around town.

The United States Flag Code specifies that “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

The ceremony was held along the Contoocook River behind Cournoyer’s Funeral Home under the supervision of longtime Troop 33 Scout leaders Andy and Ruth Webber.

Assistant Scoutmaster Peter Wentworth of Jaffrey began the ceremony by stating that these flags have served the nation and the community with honor and are now being retired. The ashes of the flags will be buried later in a quiet spot.

Scouts Sigmund Winiecki and Aden Whitney spoke about the history and significance of the U.S. flag.

The Scouts stood at attention and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Then, one by one, they picked up a folded flag from a flag-laden table and walked solemnly over to a barrel where the flags were reduced to ashes by flames fanned by a gentle breeze from the river.

The ceremony ended with a bugler playing “Taps,” followed by a haunting, distant echo by bugler Dr. Marc Winiecki, Sigmund’s father.

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