• It is to be burned in a reverent manner, and privately. The reasoning behind this is so that the flag does not carelessly fall into enemy hands or is disgraced by accident. Exactly how the burning is accomplished is not in any "official" book of rules. If you have a worn flag, and think it a good idea to start flying a fresh new one, good for you! Contact your local American Legion post. Most of them, at sunrise on Flag Day, cerimoniously burn worn flags. They will be happy and willing to do the same for yours.
  • Since submitting this answer, I have since been given new information. The American Legion has indeed drafted and installed a standard cerimony for the proper and reverent disposal of unserviceable flags. The cerimony is held on Flag Day, but at night, and is done in the presence of a full honor guard and officiated by the Post Commander, Sergeant At Arms, and Chaplain. Civilians are still welcome, indeed invited, to submit any worn, unserviceable American Flag to their local Post for proper disposal. To view the fascinating details of this cerimony, log onto:
  • Update on this answer: NYLON flags may NOT be burned. Burning nylon is illegal because it produces toxic fumes that pollute the atmosphere. Three out of four American flags sold in the U.S. are nylon, so check yours before you submit it to the American Legion. If you do indeed have a nylon flag, rather than contact your local Legion Post, contact the Girl Scouts. Yes, the Girl Scouts. As part of their community service, they collect worn out nylon flags, and have them incinerated at designated industries that can prevent the fumes from polluting the air.
  • Besides the specific manner in which a flag is taken care of. You can take your worn out flag to any number of Veterans organizations and they can take care of it for you.
  • Throw it in the garbage. I guess I'm a little confused by all the negative feedback that this answer has created. Perhaps someone can clarify why it is wrong to throw a flag in the garbage. A flag is a piece of cloth and, while it might symbolize something special to you, it is not, in and of itself, anything special. Or is it the fact that it is an American flag that makes it special? Can I thow away a Canadian flag? How about an Iraqi one? If so, then what's the difference? What if what I had looked like an American flag but in fact had, say 14 instead of 13 stripes or 53 stars instead of 50. Would I be allowed to throw that away?
  • In Boy Scouts we were thaught that either burning or burying is appropriate, as long as it is done in a respectful manner.
  • Just dump the damned thing in the trash.
  • isn;t that the correct way then?
  • The first amendment does allow u too do whatever u want to the american flag but that flag is the symble of freedom that every american enjoys. that flag stands for everything that is america & that makes u an american citizen. Our ancestors gave their lives so we could be free & bear that flag & the same is true all through history & even today. Our brothers & sisters are out their shedding their own blood, sweat, & tears & many dont get the chance to go home to their parents, husband, wives, or children just so that flag still flys high today & that is y that AMERICAN FLAG deserves a proper disposal & i know many of u don't or can't respect thast fact but if u dont respect ur country y don't u go live in 1 of the countrys where ur told what to do every day of ur life, like where to live, what to eat, where ur working for the rest of ur lives, & even how many kids ur able to have or worse how bout 1 of the war torn countries where woman & girls some as young as 3 have to exept rape as a part of daily life & the men r to affraid to do anything about it cause their affraid that their entire family will be murdered. I was just reading in the news the other day that in afganastan a 12 year old girl was gang raped by 5 gun men in her own bed. Y dont all u haters take ur familys & go live there. The world is horible & im not saying that america is perfect but atleast our government does their part to stop sick shit like that but alot of the worlds goverments just plain don't care because they dont belive they have any incentive to try & stop it but i'm rambleing now but i think u all get my point & thats exactly y the american flag should be cherished more than anything because its exactly what makes us american. It's what early americans died for & later american gaves their lives for just for us to be able to call this piece of ground we all live on america now im sure this isn't going to change any 1's mind about our flag. Infact it may piss alot of u off but this is america & as american citizens, its our right to voice our opinion. There now wasn't that great just to be albe to give my opinion. Did u know that there is countries out there that will behead u & ur entire family for giving an opinion like that?
  • Your local boy/girl scouts actually will dispose of it for you. They do a little ritual, salute, all sorts of's part of the program.
  • How about cutting it apart, into white stripes and red stripes? Then it isn't a "flag" any more.

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