Old Glory Gets A Proper Retirement At Bay Area Mortuaries

SAN JOSE (KCBS) –- Flag burnings are usually associated with anti-American protests, but the symbolic burning is actually being used to honor veterans this Memorial Day.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

For decades, boy scout troops and American Legion Posts have been retiring old American flags by burning them, because it’s the proper dignified way to dispose of tattered old flags. In fact, it’s illegal to get rid of them any other way.

”One that we got was very torn, basically shredded, and faded, which meets the requirement of a flag that is no longer presentable,” said Andrew Sparrer, the general manager of Bay Area Mortuary Services.

This Memorial Day, flags were accepted for an additional honor, to be burned with the bodies of veterans who opted to be cremated.

”People really respect the fact that we’re doing this, not only to dispose of the flag properly, but to honor our veterans by cremating that flag with them,” said Sparrer.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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