DCDL helping dispose of flags respectfully


Earlier this month, we celebrated Flag Day. This holiday commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. That resolution stated, “that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

The Flag Day holiday is often celebrated with a ceremonial raising of the national flag, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, and some communities hold parades and other events.

However, once a flag has proudly flown and now no longer looks its best, what is the best way to dispose of it? Throwing a worn flag into the trash is considered disrespectful. Just as there is etiquette for a flag’s display, there is also etiquette for a dignified disposal.

The United States Department of Defense describes a flag disposal ceremony, which is operated under the provisions set by the American Legion in 1937. During the ceremony, the unserviceable flags will be presented to Legion commanders, who inspect them, present them by a color guard, say a prayer over them, and are burned while a bugler sounds “To the Colors.”

The VFW also describes the ways in which individuals can hold their own small ceremonies to dispose of the Stars and Stripes with dignity. They recommend folding the flag in its customary manner, saluting the flag, saying the Pledge of Allegiance or holding a moment of silence before the flag is consumed by the flames of a fire.

Some flags may be made from synthetic or nylon materials, which would be hazardous if burned. Some veteran service organizations say that those flags may be folded, placed in a dignified box and buried.

The Delaware County District Library has recently begun working with our local AMVETS Post to act as a collection station for respectful flag disposal. We are currently accepting your used flags at the Delaware Main Library and Orange Branch Library. Look for the bin inside our doors and know that our staff are taking good care of Old Glory.

Other locations that collect tattered flags in Delaware County include Liberty Township Hall, the City of Powell Municipal Building, and the Delaware County Courthouse.

Don’t forget that all locations of the Delaware County District Library will close early on Wednesday, July 3, at 5 p.m. and remain closed through Thursday, July 4, in celebration of Independence Day. We hope to see you out and about in the community. Look for the library’s Book Cart Brigade in the Orange Township and Village of Ostrander parades.

In the mood for a summer biography to read? These stories were just added to our shelves in June. We’ll see you the next time you stop in.

• “Did I Ever Tell You?” by Genevieve Kingston. Genevieve Kingston expands on her 2021 “Modern Love” essay in her affecting debut memoir about the milestone-themed letters and gifts her mother left behind after dying from cancer when the author was 11. For fans of: My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me by Jason B. Rosenthal.

• “Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life” by Nicholas D. Kristof. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof chronicles his life and 40-year journalism career in this candid and inspiring memoir. Try this next: Reporter by Seymour M. Hersh.

• “Power and Glory: Elizabeth II and the Rebirth of Royalty” by Alexander Larman. Drawing on previously unpublished materials, the final volume in Alexander Larman’s trilogy about the House of Windsor chronicles the British royal family’s post-World War II exploits, culminating in the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Further reading: Young Elizabeth: The Making of the Queen by Kate Williams.

• “The Swans of Harlem: Five Black Ballerinas, Fifty Years of Sisterhood, and Their Reclamation of a Groundbreaking History” by Karen Valby. Karen Valby’s inspiring expansion of her 2021 New York Times article profiles the trailblazing accomplishments of Black ballerinas Lydia Abarca-Mitchell, Gayle McKinney-Griffith, Sheila Rohan, Marcia Sells, and Karlya Shelton-Benjamin, who were among the first company members of the Dance Theatre of Harlem in the 1960s and ’70s. Further reading: Dance Theatre of Harlem: A History, A Movement, A Celebration by Judy Tyrus and Paul Novosel.

• “Small Acts of Courage: A Legacy of Endurance and the Fight for Democracy” by Ali Velshi. Journalist and MSNBC correspondent Ali Velshi details over 100 years of his family’s history in activism and resistance in this sweeping memoir that “provides a crash course in Indian diasporic history” (Kirkus Reviews). For fans of: An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice by Khizr Khan.

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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