Annual Flag Retirement Ceremony

Did you know that the proper way to retire an unusable flag is by burning it? The U.S. Flag Code states, “When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.”

The public is invited to bring their unusable flags to be burned during a special ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY. The ceremony will be held near the gravesite of Miss Sara Hinson, a Buffalo schoolteacher and one of the co-founders of Flag Day. There is no admission charge for this event, and there is plenty of free parking.

Anyone bringing a flag to be burned will receive a specially-stamped certificate; the stamps and unused certificates will be burned as part of the closing ceremonies. The ashes from the burned flags, certificates and stamps will be interred at Forest Lawn. Everyone in attendance will receive a flag lapel pin and flag etiquette card.

New flags of various sizes will be available for purchase, with proceeds to benefit the Boy Scouts of America: Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Girl Scouts of Western New York and the Forest Lawn Heritage Foundation.

If you can't attend the Flag Retirement Ceremony but would like to drop off your flag(s) at Forest Lawn ahead of time, click here for instructions.

American Legion Commanders:
Plan to have your Legion Post participate in the ceremony. Organize with local Cub, Boy or Girl Scout troops in your community to hold a flag collection. Reconnect your post with local and regional scouting.

Boy and Girl Scout Leaders:
Have your scouts participate in the ceremony, make a presentation at our midway or take part in the ceremony activities. Your scouts can earn progress toward achievements and awards. All participants receive a commemorative patch.