American flags help to stir up feelings of patriotism and are symbols of American freedom. Americans are taught from a young age to respect the flag and to honor it as a symbol of the country that we live in. Give your old American flag away to an organization that knows how to properly restore it or dispose of it. This will help prevent dishonoring the flag by throwing the flag aside or putting it in the garbage.
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Remove the American flag from where it is hanging. Check the flag for any worn spots or ragged edges and make note of them. Small rips or worn spots can be mended, however if there are larger rips, the flag should be retired.
Fold the flag when you remove it from the flag pole. Lay the flag out flat and then fold it in half lengthwise so that it makes a long rectangle. Start at one end of the flag and create a triangle shape by folding the flag over. Keep folding the flag in a triangle shape until the flag is completely folded. Tuck the loose end into the triangle. This is the proper way to fold a flag when you are ready to store it.
Locate one of the following local agencies: the American Legion, the Boy Scouts or the Girl Scouts. Each of these agencies know how to properly care for an old and worn out flag. Drop off the flag at the agency and explain that you would like to donate it. The American Legion holds a Flag Retirement Ceremony on July 14th every year to honor and dispose of old American Flags that can no longer be flown due to rips and worn spots.
Recycling your old flag is an option if you do not want to dispose of it. Walmart will recycle old flags. Ask the Walmart greeter when you enter the store if they have a flag recycle bin.