Larry Stanford/The Thomaston Times
The John Houstoun Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, assisted by local Boy Scouts, held an American Flag Retirement Ceremony last Thursday night at the Civic Center. A number of local American flags, which have become too tattered and worn to be flown anymore, were retired during the ceremony. DAR Regent Jackie Teal, Pastor Bobby Smith, and Johnnie L. Caldwell Jr. spoke during the ceremony. The scouts presented the colors, cut apart one flag as a symbolic gesture of the retirement of all the flags, and veterans present disposed of the pieces of the flag. In the past, flags could be burned opening at retirement, but due to chemicals in the newer flags that can be toxic if burned, retired flags are now shipped to a flag manufacturer for disposal. In the upper photo, Troop 25 Scoutmaster Luke Ellington and Scouts Cole Kilby, Jacob Woodie, Dalton Johnson, and Caleb Castleberry prepare to cut apart the tattered flag. In the lower photo, veterans place the blue field and stars in a box for disposal.The red stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of the nation, the white stripes signify the burning tears shed by Americans who have lost their children in war, the blue field is indicative of God’s heaven under which the flags fly, and the stars unify 50 states as one for God and country.