This Program has been put on hold until recycling issues can be resolved. WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING FLAGS.
How do you properly retire a worn American Flag? The most common way is by burning. The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags was approved through Resolution No. 440 by the National Convention of The American Legion meeting in New York on September 20-23, 1937. At that time most American flags were made of cotton or wool. Today the vast majority of American flags are made of nylon or other petroleum-based materials. These synthetic materials last much longer but it's important that they are recycled instead of burned.
How do I recycle my flag?
Recycling - A Great Alternative
Photos used with permission of The American Legion Magazine
Ceremony for the Disposal of Unserviceable Flags The current American flag disposal ceremony was set forth in September 1937 when virtually all flags were made with cotton or wool. Today’s durable flags last much longer and are made of nylon or polyester.
Recycling American flags is an acceptable alternative. Unfortunately, this respectful way of disposal has never been promoted. Now is the time and here is why.
Burning American flags made of nylon (a petroleum product) creates hazardous gases and wastes resources. Ironically, burning American flags increases our dependence on foreign oil.
According to DuPont’s “Material Safety Data Sheet” burning nylon produces:
“Hazardous gases/vapors produced in fire are formaldehydes, ammonia, carbon monoxide, cyclopentanone, oxides of nitrogen, traces of hydrogen cyanide, incompletely burned hydrocarbons.
(When burning worn American flags) keep personnel removed and upwind of fire. Wear self-contained breathing apparatus wear full protective equipment.”
American flags have been recycled for years. In the 1800’s and 1900’s people would often take two worn cotton or wool flags and patch them together to make one presentable flag. Even today, large flags are trimmed, folded, re-stitched and patched to extend its life.
Fortunately, a new nylon recycling process has been discovered that converts virtually 100% of a nylon flag back into virgin grade nylon material which can be made into another new American flag.