Online Originals: Retired flag drop-off box opens at Jacksonville City Hall


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips introduced a new way to dispose of American flags after getting feedback from citizens. Worn, damaged, or tattered American flags can be dropped off in front of City Hall. 

“This flag disposal will be great for those who fly the American Flag, the symbol of our freedom, the symbol of our community, and allow them to properly dispose of a flag,” Phillips said. 

Jacksonville is a patriotic city deep-rooted with military history. Officials say this gives people a new way to further honor the nation. The flags will be respectfully taken care of by Disabled American Veterans Onslow County Chapter 16. 

“We do it in accordance with the U.S. flag code, which says the flag when it is in such a condition that it is no longer an emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way,” said Randall Cox, commander of the DAV NC 16 Onslow County. 

They say once they collect the flags, they can either burn or bury them. 

The burning process is more common. They begin by folding the flag in the proper way, starting the fire, giving a hand salute, and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. They then pause for a moment of silence and, once the flag is completely burned, they bury it in the ground. 

“The proper way of doing that is although the U.S. codes say burning is the preferred method of the disposing of a flag, we can also bury it,” said Cox. 

Phillips explained what this means for the community.  

“We had a lot of complaints in the past about ‘There’s nowhere to take these flags to when they do become unserviceable’. This will give this opportunity to our citizens,” said Phillips. 

He added this is the first one of its kind in Onslow County that is open to the public. 

“I’m very proud to be able to do this, to offer this to our citizens. I know we’ve had several questions in the past about ‘what do I do with my flag, when it’s torn with, or it’s weathered’ or what have you. This is the proper way to do it,” said Phillips. 

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