Scout giving flags their day

June 03, 1998|By DON AINES

by Don Aines


Flag Day

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - There are times when burning the American flag is the right thing to do. Life Scout Aaron Kakiel, of Boy Scout Troop 128, plans to burn dozens of them on Flag Day.

When Old Glory is so tattered, torn, faded or soiled that "it is no longer fit to serve as the symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner," according to "Our Flag," a pamphlet on flag etiquette published some years ago by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

"I was sitting in my homeroom one day and saw the flag there was in pretty bad condition," said Kakiel, 17, of Fayetteville, Pa.


That's when the idea for his Eagle Scout project came to him.

"The majority, if not all, the homeroom flags could be replaced. There's not that many in good shape ... some were held together with staples," he said of the aging banners at Chambersburg Area Senior High School.

The school has flags to replace those in about half of its 90 classrooms, he said.

Kakiel, who just finished his junior year, would like to replace more of the flags, but donations of new flags have been slow so far.

"When I first initiated the project, I had written to all the veterans' organizations asking if they could donate flags or give me their old ones and I didn't get one reply," he said.

He has talked with someone from one veterans organization who indicated some flags will be donated.

The 16-by-32-inch banners for the classrooms cost about $4 each, Kakiel said.

Members of Cub Scout Pack 128 have donated two flags to his effort, he said.

The Scout said anyone else wishing to dispose of their damaged or soiled flags can take them to the paper recycling shed in the parking lot of the First Lutheran Church at 43 W. Washington St.

The military-style ceremony will be at 1 p.m. June 14, at the South Hamilton Ruritan Club, he said. The flags will be inspected, passed down the ranks of Scouts from his troop and others, then burned.

He said he found out how to perform the ceremony by contacting a member of the Sons of the American Revolution through the Internet.

With Flag Day and the Fourth of July approaching, Kakiel said there are a few rules of flag etiquette to remember:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Don't allow the flag to touch the ground or become dirty.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> The flag should only be flown in good weather.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> The flag should not be flown at night unless properly lit.

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