KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
July 4, 2019
Natalie Cook Clark
Katy residents who want to honor their well-loved, worn out flags can drop them off to be disposed of with dignity.
Precinct 5 Collecting Worn-Out American Flags
We fly American flags on national holidays to show our patriotic pride and to promote national spirit, but sometimes American flags can show their age and love.
"If your old stars and stripes have seen their better days, let us have them," says Constable Ted Heap.
Katy officers from Harris County Precinct 5 are collecting worn-out American flags for local boy scouts who will properly dispose of the flags through a ceremony.
"A lot of people have a flag that needs to be replaced and they want to be respectful, they know not to just throw them out but they don't know what to do," says Robert Henslee, media relations for Harris County Precinct 5.
According to the United States flag code title 4, chapter 1, section 8, “(k)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.”
Drop Off Information
Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office 17423 Katy Fwy., Houston 8 am - 4 pm Monday - Friday
Katyites can also hand over their flags to any Precint 5 officer on patrol.
Caring for Your Flag
Do not let it touch the ground
Do not wad up the flag, it should be folded in its customary manner
Do not store the flag where it can get dirty
Disposing of Your American Flag
It's important to understand the flag etiquette in displaying the American flag. This includes making sure the flag is in good condition and not frayed, torn or displaying a hole. When a flag has seen better days and becomes worn-out it's time to retire it. Displaying and disposing of an American flag comes with national responsibility. You can only dispose of an American flag by:
Ceremonial Flag Burning The most dignified and common way to dispose of American flags is during a ceremonial burning. The flag or flags are properly, neatly folded, placed on a bonfire, and the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem is performed while those in attendance salute.
The flag or flags are respectfully, neatly folded, placed in a quality wooden box, and interred in the ground.
According to the US Army's Heraldry Institute, flag shredding is an acceptable means of disposal as long as it is respectful. Scissors can be used to carefully cut the thirteen stripes into neat pieces, with the star-spangled blue field intact. The pieces are then placed into a box and respectfully buried.
Contact a local recycling processor for information about flag recycling. This alternative form of disposal is recommended for flags made of polyester or nylon, which release harmful chemicals into the air when burned.
The officers of Precinct 5 will be giving the flags over the the boy scouts for a disposal ceremony. When preparing your flag for donation and lowering it remember to not let it touch the ground. You can't just wad it up. You must fold the American flag in it's customary manner. Don't store it anywhere where it can get dirty or harmed.
How to Display Your Flag
There is a U.S. Flag Code that outlines the appropriate times, conditions and manner in which you can display your American flag - any day from sunrise to sunset when it's not inclement weather. However, there are certain days when a drive through our neighborhoods becomes a wonderful patriotic stroll. The Fourth of July is one of those times.