Flag Burning Ceremony

Flag Burning Ceremony

1. Display the old flag, give its history, if known, Pledge of Allegiance

2. Respect paid to the old flag -- read aloud "I AM OLD GLORY"

I am old glory;
for more the 9 score years I have been the banner of hope and freedom for generation after generation of Americans. Born amid the first flames of America's fight for freedom, I am the symbol of a country that has grown from a little group of 13 colonies to a united nation of 50 sovereign states. Planted firmly on the high pinnacle of American Faith, my gently fluttering folds have proved an inspiration to untold millions. Men have followed me into battle with unwavering courage. They have looked upon me as a symbol of national unity. They have prayed that they and their fellow citizens might continue to enjoy the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which have been granted to every American as the heritage of free men. So long as men love liberty more than life itself, so long as they treasure the priceless privileges bought with the blood of our forefathers; so long as the principles of truth, justice and charity for all remain deeply rooted in human hearts, I shall continue to be the enduring banner of the United States of America.

3. Explain to the ensemble what will happen next, and a little word or two about it. Taps are hummed slowly while the flag is cut up. The ABSOLUTE SILENCE.

4. Color Guards cuts the field of blue stars out of the flag, with solemnity a quiet. This field of flue is put onto the fire first. The stripes are laid into the fire when the stars are almost fully consumed.

5. There is absolute silence until the entire flag is completely consumed by the flames.

6. Then the color guard, with meaning, says, 'OUR FLAG REST IN PEACE."

Group says together: Pledge of Allegiance the sing America (my Country Tis of Thee)

Color of the flag: Remember as you look at your Flag, which is the symbol of our nation, that it is red because of human sacrifice. It is blue because of the true blue loyalty of its defenders. It is white to symbolize liberty - our land of the free. The stars are symbols of the united efforts and hope in the hearts of many people striving for a greater nobler America.

Hold the Flag Up: Optional - at this point, each person in the audience or participating in the ceremony, may state what the Flag means to them. Sing: Another appropriate song may be sung (optional) Procedure for Flag Burning: (a pair of scissors should be on hand) Take the flag and unfold. Place stars (as audience sees it) in the upper left hand corner. (One minute of silent meditation may be inserted if desired).


Then either cut or tear the position of the blue containing the stars from the flag. Have one person hold the blue in her arms until the end of the ceremony because the blue and stars is the last part of the flag to be burned. Now tear one stripe off at a time. burn it in the fire by laying it across the flames; not in a lump. Burn each stripe thoroughly before tearing off the next stripe to be burned. After all the stripes have been burned, one at a time, then the blue and stars is ready to be burned. BEFORE the blue and stars is spread across the fire, the blue portion should be KISSED for respect by the person holding the blue throughout the ceremony. The portion is then laid, as a whole piece and not torn in any way, across the fire and all is quiet until the last speck of blue turns to ash.

Sing - Star Spangled Banner; or other appropriate song.

End of the ceremony should be followed by a silent dismissal.

If the flag to be burned is small or there is more than one flag to be burned at a time, the flag may (but not necessarily advised unless due to lack of time) be laid as a whole unit across the fire. This can be done also if the first flag is torn and burned as describe above, and another laid across the first one at a time.

Nothing should ever be added to the ceremonial fire after the Flag has been burned (out of respect).

The next morning the girls that actually burned the flag and their leader will gather the ashes to be burned.

This could be included as the last step in the ceremony if the wanted all of those in attendance to participate.

A hole is dug, the dirt placed carefully beside it and the ashes are placed into the hole by handfuls. Fill the hole back up with dirt, a marker can be placed.

At the beginning of the ceremony the speaker should say who the flag grommets will be given to. They are a form of good luck and can be carried or worn around the neck of the person who receives one.

If the ashes are entirely out, they can be carried to the burial site in a box, if the ashes are still hot, a bucket could be used, then place by shovels-full into the hole.

A Scout's Own could be an appropriate ending for your Flag burning ceremony.


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Revised -- December 16, 1995