top of page
Blue Skies
American Flags
IMG-20240129-WA0005 (1).jpg

Karis Hunt

Summit Project


My Journey with Flag Retirement

Hello! My name is Karis Hunt, thank you so much for checking out my Summit project and your interest in Flag retirement. I first began my journey with flag retirement in 2022, when I was 15 years old when I hosted my first flag retirement ceremony for my unit. I felt a calling in my community to educate the public about the importance of flag retirement, and I wanted to include the community in my ceremony. I invited the congregation of our chartered organization, at the time, veterans, and active duty officers, and had a military band come out and play for us. This event was a huge success, and my crew and I have been retiring flags ever since

      When it came time to choose a project for my Summit, I knew that I wanted to do something to continue my journey of Flag retirement and education. So here it is, a page dedicated to the importance of flag retirement! 

      Below you can find helpful resources on where and how you can respectfully retire the American flag!

Flag retirement-
Retirement Locations

Mecklemburg  & York County


  • North Mecklenburg Disposal and Recycling Center | N, 12300 Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078



  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

         601 E. Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28202



  • 1640 SC-160, Fort Mill, SC 29708


Fire Stations:

  • Charlotte Fire Department: 13828 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28278

  • Charlotte Fire Station: 12100 Shopton Rd W, Charlotte, NC 28278

  • Charlotte Fire Station 26: 9231 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28273

  • Tega Cay Fire Department: 1195 Stonecrest Blvd, Tega Cay, SC 29708

  • Fort Mill Fire and Rescue: 3005 Pleasant Rd #2927, Fort Mill, SC 29708

American Legion:

  • American Legion: 4235 W Tyvola Rd, Charlotte, NC 28208

  • American Legion Post 626: 1940 Donald Ross Rd, Charlotte, NC 28208

  • American Legion Post 353 Paw Creek: 5661 Hovis Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216

  • American Legion Post 208: 801 E South Main St, Waxhaw, NC 28173

  • American Legion Post 34: 524 Heckle Blvd, Rock Hill, SC 29730

  • American Legion, Eli Bailes Post 43: 427 Banks St, Fort Mill, SC 29715


Veterans of Foreign Wars:

  • 8520 Mt Holly Rd, Charlotte, NC 28214

  • 1442 Harris Rd, Fort Mill, SC 29715

  • 1404 Crawford Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29730

  • 732 W Main St, Rock Hill, SC 29730


  • Troop 19 Scout Hut: 201 S Old Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC

  • Mecklenburg County Scout Shop: 1410 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 2820


Mail to: Flag Keepers USA | 8831 Business Park Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33912

Flag folding
Educational video

Flag retirement -
Quick facts

Why retire the American flag?

Here is an expect from the United States Coast Guard Auxillary "The United States Code stipulates, “When a U.S. flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

We gather these Flags of our Country and of our States, which have been determined to be no longer serviceable. They have reached their present state in a proper service of respect, tribute, and in the memory of all who have served America. What we are about to do is evidence of our utmost respect and undying honor for the Flag." (Flotilla 8-1)

How do you retire the American flag?


Option One: A Ceremonial Burning

This is the preferred method of disposal, according to the United States government. The American Legion has produced a detailed procedure for retiring old American flags through burning that they approved at their 19th National Convention in September 1937. Essential elements include:

  • Conducting the ceremony at night

  • Maintaining a reverent atmosphere

  • Ensuring that the flag is properly folded before burning

  • Only burning the flag in a large bonfire

  • Ensuring all parts of the flag fully burn down to ashes

  • Offering prayers of thanks afterward

Option Two: Cutting Your Flag

Because modern flags are made from petroleum-based products, burning them releases toxic gases such as "formaldehyde, ammonia, carbon monoxide, cyclopentanone, oxides of nitrogen, traces of hydrogen cyanide [and] incompletely burned hydrocarbons." Therefore, people are increasingly looking to methods other than ceremonial burning to respectfully dispose of an American flag. Cutting your flag into pieces is one approved option for disposal. This is acceptable because once it is cut into pieces, it is no longer considered a flag. The Procedure for Cutting and Retiring a Flag dictates you must:

  • Stretch the flag out by its four corners.

  • Cut the flag in half widthwise, being careful not to cut in any part of the blue area. This blue star field symbolizes the union of all 50 states and therefore should not be cut or otherwise split apart in any way.

  • Put the two halves together and cut in half lengthwise.

  • This will leave you with four sections of flag. Three will be red and white stripes, and one will be the blue star field.

  • Dispose of these pieces of the flag properly.

Option Four: Flag Burial

Another retirement alternative is flag burial :

  • Folding your flag correctly.

  • Placing it in a wooden box.

  • Burying it in the ground.

  • Offering a short funeral or prayer for your flag after you have buried it

Flag retirement

Resources for Flag Retirement

“Flag Retirement " Flags USA.” Flags USA, 18 Apr. 2023,,the%20stripes%20from%20each%20other.


“Flag Retirement.” Boy Scouts of America - Capitol Area Council, 22 Aug. 2022,


“Flag Retirement.” Ushistory.Org, Independence Hall Association,  Flotilla 8-1, District 7.


“U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary - Flotilla 8-1, District 7.” Membership Sign in to WOW Website,,to%20be%20no%20longer%20serviceable


“How to Properly Dispose of Worn-out U.S. Flags.” U.S. Department of Defense,


“A Patriot’s Guide to Retiring an American Flag.” American Flags - Super Fast Shipping!,, 19 June 2019,


“Top 10 Things to Know about Flag Retirement.” Nevada Department of Veterans Services, 28 May 2021,

bottom of page