When it comes to the proper handling of the American flag, most people want to do what’s right.
And now, they can easily dispose of tattered and torn American flags the right way, with the help of the Koochiching County Veterans Service Office, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2948 and Elks Lodge 1599.
Each year, the Elks Lodge past exalted rulers, or PERs, conduct a ceremony to properly dispose of the flags. The PERs most often receive the flags from the local VFW, where many people drop them off.
In addition, Wayne Fuller, a veteran, who works at the Koochiching County Transfer Station, finds American flags coming through the waste stream of county residents. He pulls them from the garbage and delivers them to the VFW, Koochiching County VSO Candance Ritch said.
But now, properly disposing of worn American flags is as easy as paying your taxes. Well, probably easier.
A drop-off box has been placed near the Koochiching County Auditor/Treasurer’s Office — where property owners pay their taxes — inside the Koochiching County Courthouse.
VSO Ritch said the flags don’t need to be properly folded when dropped into the box. She said she and VSO Assistant Carissa MacLean would ensure flags are folded and make sure they are a part of the disposal ceremony.
Ritch said the box came about with a grant from the LinkVet, a Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs service that offers support seven days a week for Minnesota veterans and their families.
She said all that was asked was that the service’s helpline, 1-888-LINKVET, or 1-800-546-5838, be included on the box.