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Tulsa Edison Students Hold 'Funeral' For Flags

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The Junior ROTC at Edison holds a flag retirement ceremony. The Junior ROTC at Edison holds a flag retirement ceremony.
Cadet Major Emily Gaston is a senior and the Battalion Executive Officer. Cadet Major Emily Gaston is a senior and the Battalion Executive Officer.
Edison's Junior ROTC units conduct one of the ceremonies every hour of the school day. Edison's Junior ROTC units conduct one of the ceremonies every hour of the school day.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Many people may have an old American flag that has seen better days.

But you don’t just toss it in the trash. There is a special ceremony to destroy faded, damaged flags, and Edison's Junior ROTC showed us how to retire them properly.

“We're gonna take the opportunity to open our ceremony - very short, very solemn - it's kind of a funeral of sorts," said Major Paul Clark, Edison Junior ROTC advisor.

Edison's Junior ROTC units conduct one of the ceremonies every hour of the school day.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have gathered together to dispose of a flag which is no longer serviceable," said Cadet Major Emily Gaston.

Gaston is a senior and the Battalion Executive Officer. Her job is to stay out there with the fire to keep it burning and make sure nothing goes wrong. She also serves as a narrator.

"I am the flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory," she said.

Each cadet who has a flag places it on the fire.

Gaston said, "I am confident, I am arrogant, I am proud. When I am flown with my fellow banners my head is held a little higher."

They have a couple of dozen flags to dispose of during the day; each one gets the respectful sendoff.

She said the flags deserve it; and that it’s not important who does it, just how they do it.

"Just about anyone can do it, but mostly the Boy Scouts of America and JROTC do it," Gaston said.

If you have an old flag that needs a proper send-off, a good place to start is with any Boy Scout troop. They regularly conduct ceremonies to properly dispose of American flags.

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