Oologah Eagle Scouts Create New Way To Retire American Flags

Friday, September 6th 2019, 9:14 pm
By: Erick Payne

Scouts are giving people a new way to retire worn-out American flags.

They've built a dropbox next to the town hall. The collection box is already full with more than a dozen aging American flags, and it's only been here about a week.

It's a project that took two months to come to fruition. It all started with an idea Life Scout Joshua Baden got from the internet.

"Because I saw other boy scouts doing it, and I felt our community needed it," Baden said.

Joshua is working toward attaining Eagle Scout with Troop #199 in Oologah. He says they get a lot of questions about what to do with old flags.

"It's the respectful way to do this, and being boy scouts we are one of the only groups that can do this," Baden said.

Now they have a dedicated spot to direct them, right next to the Little Library at Oologah's town hall.

"I wanted to create a local point within the town where people could bring their flags," Baden said.

Baden says the retirement box was approved by the scout district, Oologah town board, and by their church. The final person to sign off on it was Troop #199 Scoutmaster Todd Estes.

"It was a given for me because I think this is a fantastic project," Estes said. "It's important to recognize torn and battered flags deserve a retirement."

Estes says the credit goes to Baden for his leadership on the project, finding a need, and identifying a group that could help him fill that need. It came together with a thrifty attitude. Nearly all of the materials used to make the drop-box are recycled. It's all an accomplishment he says will have a big impact.

"Being able to have one place to pick them up at, where you're prepared to take them and where they're not just sitting out in the weather, where we can get them to an appropriate location that's nice clean and dry, they won't get moldy, and we can store them until it's ready to retire," Estes said.

Baden says they have more than three tubs full of flags to retire. They'll have a campfire, where they give a speech about the flags' meaning, then they'll have a proper flag burning ceremony.


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