The American flag is a symbol of independence, honor, and duty.
Americans fly the flag proudly in front of their homes, businesses, and community organizations. For so many, it has an emotional, symbolic meaning.
Picture the flag standing high above the rubble of 9/11, or the flag being planted in the ground at Iwo Jima.
But what happens when the flag gets worn, soiled, or faded enough that it is no longer appropriate to fly?
Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home's location in Crowley "is now an official drop off location for the American flag that is either worn, faded, torn, or soiled."
U.S. Code Title 4 explains the proper etiquette for treating, folding, and disposal of the American flag.
Section 8 of the Flag Code says that "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."
Geesey-Ferguson announced on Saturday that they will "respectfully dispose of the American flag in special ceremonies."
According to Veterans of Foreign Wars, proper disposal etiquette is as follows:
Fold the flag in its customary triangle fold; prepare a fire large enough to ensure the entire flag is completely burned; come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and have a brief period of silent reflection; safely extinguish the fire after the flag is consumed; and finally, bury the ashes.
The VFW also states that the disposal should conform to local/state fire codes.
The Funeral Home has not given specific details as to what their disposal ceremony will entail, but the American Legion holds flag burning ceremonies each Flag Day in order to properly dispose of flags.
Geesey-Ferguson said this is exciting news for Acadia Parish, as it will allow residents an easy way to dispose of their flags without having to conduct their own disposal and risk not conforming to state/local ordinances or disrespecting the flag.
Residents may perform ceremonies themselves, but they should be conducted with the proper respect. The American Legion says individual ceremonies "should be done discreetly so that the act of destruction is not perceived as a protest or desecration."
Now, however, residents in Acadia Parish can bring their old, worn flags to Geesey-Ferguson to ensure their flags are properly taken care of.
The funeral home said the ceremonies will be held throughout the year and will include military.
Geesey-Ferguson is located at 301 N. Avenue F in Crowley. Follow their Facebook page for more updates and visit their website here for information on other military honors the funeral home provides for veterans.
Those not in Acadia Parish can contact their local American Legion Post for information on flag disposal.