Retiring the Colors

By Stu Hoyt

On the 20th of July 2019, John Know, a member of the Patrick Henry Chapter, TX SAR, of Austin, TX brought his collection of American Flags to the American Veterans Post 115, in Kyle, TX, who were participating in their weekly Saturday Morning breakfast. The post had been collecting American Flags that were ready to be retired and invited John to give them a little history of the flag and the process. Invited to this retirement ceremony were all veterans and members of various Veterans organizations in the area along with local Boy Scout Troops and the Kyle Fire Department. John started with the early flags, which led up to the Grand Union Flag and how it was the imprint for our Stars and Stripes. After his presentation, he invited everyone to come up and hold a large American Flag that would be the first to be retired. He passed out scissors, which would remove the grommet (which do not go in the fire). Then the flag was disassembled stripe by stripe and added to the flames. A member read a narrative of the meaning of the flag as each piece was removed. In all about seventy-five flags were retired that day. It was a learning experience and a meaningful experience.