To show their patriotism and community concern, the fifth grade class of Prairie View Academy collected funds among themselves to purchase a new flag for the school.
Principal Dale Bishop saw this as an opportunity to teach the class as well as older students the proper technique of removing an unserviceable flag.
"We are fortunate enough to have Boy Scouts as students here at Prairie View and the ceremony is something I feel the students can learn from as they take part in the ceremony," Bishop said.
The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags is outlined in Resolution No. 440, passed by the 19th National Convention of The American Legion in New York, Sept. 20-23,1937. The ceremony has been an integral part of American Legion ritual since that date.
There are several retirement ceremonies that may been carried out and Boy Scouts Ty Barnhill and Clay Moore chose to separate the colors and stars. Each person who had a relative that was currently serving in the military or had served was asked to take part by placing pieces in the fire.
The following direct quotation from the beginning of Title 36, Section 176, of the United States Code was read:
"No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America;"
Furthermore, Paragraph (K) of this same Title 36, Section 176, was read:
"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."
This was followed by a reciting of the following while the colors where being separated:
"I Am Your Flag. I was born on June 14, 1777. I am more than cloth shaped into a design. I am the refuge of the world's oppressed people. I am the silent sentinel of Freedom. I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth. I am the inspiration for which American Patriots gave their lives and fortunes. I have led your sons in to battle from Valley Forge to the blistering desert of the Arabian Peninsula. I walked in silence with each of your honored dead to their final resting place beneath the silent white crosses, row upon row. I have flown through peace and war, strife and prosperity, and amidst it all I have been respected. "Old Glory" is my nickname; proudly I wave on high. Honor me. respect me, defend me with your lives and fortunes. Never let my enemies tear me down from my lofty position lest I never return. Keep alight the fires of patriotism, strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy. Worship Eternal God and keep his commandments, and I shall remain the bulwark of peace of freedom for all people. For I Am Your Flag! My red stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of the glorious nation. Let us retire the Red Stripes. My white stripes signify the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons. Let us retire the White Stripes. My blue field is indicative of God's heaven under which we fly. My stars, clustered together, unify 50 States as one for God and Country.
Page 2 of 2 - Let us retire the Blue Field with Stars."