American Legion Eddie Morgan Post 121 retires flags with ceremony

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The Eddie Morgan Post 121 family gathered outside the American Legion building on September 12, to witness and participate in a flag burning ceremony. The first ceremony at Post 121 in at least 4 years, the event featured a mixture of speakers and readings before retired American flags were burned in a large drum outside the American Legion building.

Flag Retirement (Pictured above) Kevin Brown, Commander Mike Pair, Travis Black, Jack Horneman, Terry Martin and John Medlin (pictured l-r) during a flag retirement ceremony at Eddie Morgan Post 121 in Williamston.

Retired American flags were recently burned in a large drum outside the American Legion Eddie Morgan Posts 121 building recently as part of a special ceremony. Pictured are (l-r) John Medlin, Travis Black, Jack Horneman, Terry Martin and Commander Mike Pair.

In 1937, the National Convention of the American Legion adopted burning as the “official ceremony for the destruction of unserviceable American Flags.” In 1944, the organization resolved that Flag Day, June 14, “be recommended as the most appropriate day on which to annually hold this ceremony.” This year’s ceremony at Post 121 was not held on June 14th due to the COVID virus.

The ceremony was organized by Eddie Morgan Post 121 Commander Michael Pair. Surrounded by other American Legion supporters and members, Pair gave a short welcome and those in attendance were invited to join in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Old and retired American flags were then burned in large metal drums in the field behind the Legion building. Several large garbage bags full of flags were burned at the ceremony, many of which had been taken as part of the flag donation.

Legionnaire Terry Martin & Post 121 Adjutant Jack Horneman oversaw the ongoing flag burning throughout the evening.

Although flag burning is often thought to be a negative demonstration, when done properly and respectfully, it is the proper way to dispose of retired American flags. The United States Code says: “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.”

Eddie Morgan Post 121 plans to make flag-burning an annual occurrence in Williamston.

The American Legion building is located at 1610 Anderson Drive, Williamston. Old flags may be dropped off all year long.