As a strong symbol of the beliefs and values of our country, proper flag disposal is a very important and honorary event because it allows the no-longer-in-use flags to be destroyed in a way that honors our country and what it believes in. According to U.S. Flag Code, “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.”
Here at West Point, this is especially important because of its rich history in defending our country and fighting for the flag with its graduated officers.
The two boxes that I have made for the proper disposal of the American Flag, as part of my Eagle Scout Project, has a slot at the top to insert the flags and a small door on the bottom to collect the deposited flags.
One box will be located outside of the cemetery by Building 625 on Washington Road across from the West Point Cemetery and the other will be located at Connor-O’Doyle American Legion Lodge in Highland Falls.
The cemetery is a prime location because of the ceremonies that occur there honoring the sacrifices that were made by those who now reside there eternally. Additionally, because the West Point Spouses Club also resides in one of these buildings, its location is well known to the community.
The American Legion building is another ideal location because it actively conducts flag burning ceremonies. In addition, its location will allow easier access to a wider range of community members.
The boxes are painted with stars and stripes to resemble the flag and to draw attention to their purpose. The American Legion already has a fire pit for the ceremony, which was designed by John Morrison, a fellow Eagle Scout, and this project complements the previous Eagle Scout Project and make the steps to honorably retire a flag more accessible to the community.
This project furthers the relationship with Boy Scout Troop 23 and the American Legion, and I hope to establish a tradition of partnership by encouraging the scouts to be a part of their ceremonies and help out when needed.
It is needed in our community because our base does not have a flag drop-off. It is vital that the proper care and disposal of flags is encouraged and honored at West Point, home of the prestigious military school and location of monumental historic events. It is one more way in which West Point and its residents can serve our country.