On June 14, National Flag Day, GSA Consulting Engineers held a flag ceremony to properly retire their flag. Prairieville Boy Scouts Troop 69, along with Pack 469, lead the ceremony, demonstrating the respectful way on how to dispose of an old, worn American Flag.
The idea for the ceremony began when the engineering firm decided it was time to replace their old flag. They wanted to properly retire the flag, so they called the local boy scouts to see what to the process of doing so was. Employees reached out to other local organizations and from there one flag turned into 15.
"We wanted to do it the proper way and all of a sudden we had 15 flags," said Glenda Shaheen, VP Administration Safety at GSA Consulting Engineers.
Among the 15 flags was a Louisiana State Flag from the office of Representative Johnny Berthelot.
Troop 69 Scoutmaster/Den Leader Stuart Clouatre explained the procedure that happens when a flag is retired. First each stripe is cute according to its color and placed in a pile. Then they are burned, with the ashes being scattered at an unknown location.
Surrounding a small fire was GSA employees, Gonzales City Clerk of Court Clay Stafford representing the City and scouts Jeffery Edwards, Jayden Worley, CJ Rodrugue, Abram Cloiatre, Christopher Johnson, Brody Keller, Aiden Clouatre and Andrew Poss. One by one each person took turns assisting the scouts with the burning ceremony.
"I have never seen it done like this before so I think for this office that it may be the first annual that we do, it might be something that we continue to do but I think it's great for the community to know exactly how to properly retire a flag," Shaheen added.
Contact your local Boy Scouts or American Legion office if you have a flag you would like to retire.