People needed for the ceremony:
CFR (Chief of Flag
Scout/person to read
the history of the flag
The Scoutmaster, or
leader of the organization
A guest speaker
(usually a veteran, or distinguished peron)
Person to give the
Color Guard (with
Color Guard captain)
Burn Crew (to make
sure the flag burns properly, and doesn't get out of hand)
Scouts/people to help as ushers and with
Bugler (althoug it
is preferred to have one)
Singer for the National Anthem.
A metal container to
burn the flag/flags in
A podium or place
for people to speak, with loudspeakers if necessary
Places for an
audience to sit
Equipment (fire extinguisher)
Feel free to change to fit your needs.
- Posting of Colors
• CFR: Greet
people, and describe how the ceremony will open Ex: "Good morning, and
thank you for attending this ceremony. We will start with the posting of
• CFR: "Please stand for the posting of the
• CFR: "Color Guard... post the
colors" (flag is raised)
• Bugler: Play To The Colors
(on cue as flag starts up)
• Flag reaches the top
CFR: "Please join me in the pledge of allegance."
CFR: "I pledge allegiance to the flag, or the United States of
America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
(optional) "Please join our choir members in the singing of our
• Sing the National Anthem, guest singer
may be used.
• Prayer- Introduce the person giving the
• CFR: " <<say name>>,
will lead us with the invocation."
• Person giving
the invocation takes stage, does invocation
• CFR: "Please Be Seated."
Welcoming & Introduction of ceremony
• CFR: Explain
why you are doing this ceremony.
- Points to
• The US code title 36, section 176 states: "The
Flag, when it is in such condition that is is no longer a fitting emblem
for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by
• Increased amounts of people flying the flag have
caused more and more to become worn.
• Retiring flags provides
a service to the community, and the nation.
• CFR: Explain who
is involved in the ceremony, and thank any important individuals, groups,
• "We will open our ceremony with a short
history of the US flag, given by <<say name and rank of
scout giving the history of the
- Scout gives short history of
• Scout: Gives a short history of the US flag.
CFR: "Thank you for giving us a outlook on the history of our
- Introduction of guest speaker
"It is my honor to introduce <<say name, and
position/rank of guest speaker>> Who will give a speech
on <<say the topic of the
• Guest speaker: Gives
• CFR: "Thank you
• CFR: "We will now begin our formal flag
retirement ceremony. "
- CFR: Describe the flag retirement
• Flag to be retired is raised
• "To The
Colors" is played as flag is raised
• National Anthem is
- Color Guard retires the colors
"Please stand, and join me in retiring our nations
• CFR: "Men and Women in Military and Boy
Scouts will salute, while the rest of us will put our hands over our
• CFR: "Post the colors"
guard: raise the flag
• Bugler: Play 'to the colors'
(on cue as flag is raised)
• Everybody: Sing "Star Spangled
• CFR: "Retire the colors"
guard: retire the colors, fold the flag.
• Color Guard
Captain: Bring the flag to CFR
• CG Captain: "Sir, We
present this Flag that has proudly flown over our nation and it's war
dead. It is ready for retirement"
• CFR: "Thank
You. <<say scoutmaster's name>>, do
you have anything to say before this flag is retired?"
Master: "Has this flag represented this nation with honor and
pride, and become worn as the result of its usual service as the Emblem of
our Country? "
• CG Captain: "Yes Sir. It
• CFR: "<<Say guest speaker's
name>>, do you have anything to say before this flag is
• Guest Speaker: "Has this flag, and all
other flags it represents become unserviceable while flying over our
country in times of peace and war, and as our nation's men and women died
in defending it's honor."
• CG Captain: "Yes Sir. They
• CFR: "It has been concluded, that this flag,
and all other flags it represents, will become unusable due to their
proper service of tribute, memory, and love."
"Captain, prepare the flag for retirement."
Captain: "Yes Sir."
• Flag Retirement Group moves
to burn position prepares the flag for retirement
• Burn Crew
• Color Guard solemnly unfolds the flag and
holds it over the container the flag is to be retired in.
CFR: "Join us in the singing of 'God Bless America'"
Everybody: sing God Bless America
• Retire the flag. If
there is a small amount of flags to be retired, place them in too. If
there are a considerable amount of flags to be retired, retire just one,
and wait until after the ceremony to retire the rest.
as flag burns
• After taps, wait for flag to burn. If not
totally burned after some time, finish ceremony
"Two. Please bow your heads as <<person giving
the benediction>> leads us in the
• CFR: "Almighty God, Captain of all
hosts and Commander over all, bless and consecrate this present hour. "We
thank Thee for our Country and its Flag, and for the liberty for which it
stands. "To clean and purging flame we commit these Flags, worn-out in
worthy service. As they yield their substance to the fire, may Thy Holy
Light spread over us and bring to our hearts renewed devotion to God and
• CFR: "This concludes our US flag
retirement ceremony. May we go home, and not forget the importance of our
country's most precious symbol, the US flag. Thank you for
If you have a large amount of flags to be retired, retire one during
the ceremony in honor of the others, and retire the rest after the
ceremony, or have a local funeral home donate their services and have the
After the retirement, polish the leftover grommets, and give them to
veterans, important people in the community, people who helped or
attended, or to whomever you see fit. They are like having an
American Flag on your keychain.
Be careful when burning the flags. If it is a windy day, have
something to put over the container to keep ashes, or un-burnt pieces of
the flag from flying out of the container.
If you are going to burn just one flag for the ceremony, chose a flag
that is preferably made out of cotton. Be careful when burning nylon
and polyester flags. I've had different results with each.
Nylon flags melt and leave a sticky mess, and polyester flags aren't the
best for burning either.
Some ceremonies call for the flag to be cut up before being
retired. This is accecptable, yet not mandatory. The only law
is in the US flag code, as follows: The Flag, when it is in such
condition that is is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be
destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
Make sure that the flag is burned entirely, so that it is
unrecognizable as an American Flag.
When you are done, the ashes may be buried, or scattered as
desired. The best way would be to bury them in a special location
where you can leave a sign describing what is buried there.
Remember, this is a very solemn ceremony. It is like a
funeral. We are laying US Flags to rest. A large group is not
needed, yet veterans, and some other people in the community might find
the need to attend to pay respect for the flag as it is retired.
Large groups of people should usually not be invited, unless it's for a