A solemn ceremony took place outside King City City Hall in the late afternoon on Flag Day, June 14, when members of Girl Scout Troop 12805 retired the American flag that had been flying in front of City Hall.
Mayor Jaimie Fender, who attended the ceremony, said, “There is nothing more poignant than to properly dispose of American flags.”
According to troop leaders Amanda Case and Samantha Brookshire, several other worn flags had been donated by community members to be disposed.
The troop, which formed five years ago, has 18 members in kindergarten and second and fifth grades at Deer Creek Elementary in King City and other schools in Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood. Brownies in the troop became Cadets in an earlier ceremony the same day.
Dave Runyon, who said he is the entire King City Public Works Department, assisted the girls in lowering the flag on the flag pole. He said the flags in front of City Hall have to be replaced every six to 12 months because they start fraying from being out in the weather and wind.
“When Dave went to replace the flag, we wanted to properly dispose of it and came up with the idea of asking local citizens to donate their flags too,” Fender said. “This has been a beautiful day and the opportunity to teach us all to be more respectful of the flag and treat it properly.
“I am very excited that as a city we are helping these girls to earn a badge, and I am thankful for you and your families’ support. Thank you so much.”
Runyon added, “One of our new residents moved in and saw a tattered flag on the pole at his house. He had no idea how to lower it and called the Police Department. (An officer) and I went and lowered it.”
Fender said if anyone sees a tattered flag flying in King City, they can report it at City Hall.
The U.S. Flag Code states that “the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” Flags also can be cut in a respectful manner.
Fender said that the troop will do a burning ceremony at a later date and post it online. The troop members earned Flag Retirement badges for the project.