County Collects Tattered Flags for Ceremonial Retirement

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Provided by Roger LeBlanc, Prince William County Solid Waste Division

The flag bin at the Balls Ford facility was designed and constructed by local area Boy Scouts.

Flag Day is celebrated in the United States on June 14 to mark the anniversary of the adopting “the Stars and Stripes” as the nation’s official flag. County residents have the opportunity to observe the holiday by retiring old or tattered American flags at the Prince William County Landfill any time during open hours.

“The flag collection center provides an easy and convenient way for citizens to turn in their flags so that they can properly retired by the Boy Scouts,” says Deborah Campbell, Communications Specialist for the Solid Waste Division. “This is a free service for residents, as well as businesses.”

Local Boy Scout troops collect the flags and ensure that they are properly disposed of and ceremoniously retired. Flag retirement is a long standing American tradition of respectfully and reverently burning flags that are no longer fit to be flown.

The American Flag Collection Center, led by Scout Leader Dave Byrne, is a joint effort between the Boy Scouts of America Occoquan and Bull Run Districts, Keep Prince William Beautiful and Prince William County Solid Waste Division.

The partners who run the American Flag Collection Center consider safety in addition to tradition. Not all flags are safe to burn, for example, American flags made of nylon can release toxic fumes when burned. These flags will be recycled in an appropriate manner.

Flags are accepted at both the Prince William Landfill or the Balls Ford Road Compost Facility. The Prince William County Landfill is open Monday-Saturday from 6:00 a. m. to 6:00 p. m. and Sunday 8:00 a. m. to 5:00 p. m. The Balls Ford Road Compost Facility is open Monday-Saturday from 7:30 a. m. to 5:00 p. m. and Sunday 8:00 a. m. to 5:00 p. m.


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