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Big Y Collecting Retired American Flags For Proper Retirement

flag retirement

In honor of Flag Day, Big Y is collecting worn, torn, faded or badly soiled American Flags for proper retirement.

Big Y, headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, is working with local Boy Scouts, American Legions, VFWs and military organizations to properly retire the collected flags. From May 23 to June 12, all locations, including Fresh Acres and Table & Vine, will have special receptacles for accepting worn flags. These flags will be delivered to the local organizations listed above to ensure proper retirement with dignity and respect. Since 2012, the company has collected close to 46,000 American flags for proper retirement.

The collecting organizations will hold a special flag retirement ceremony that conforms to the U.S. Flag Code. “United States Federal Law provides that ‘The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.’ (36 U.S.C. 176(k)) The burning symbolizes purification and rebirth when performed during a ceremony. After a final tribute, a flag is cut in 13 strips that represent the original 13 colonies, and the 50 stars to pay homage to the 50 states. The strips are then respectively placed on a fire. The ashes are then collected and buried after the Pledge of Allegiance is recited and a moment of silence is observed.

Flag Day was established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. It is celebrated every year on June 14, to observe the adoption of the first national flag in 1777. Big Y displays the American Flag outside of every location. According to Big Y CEO Charles L. D’Amour, “As a symbol of our being an American-owned supermarket, Big Y is proud to help our communities by properly retiring worn, tattered or soiled American Flags.”

Big Y Foods Inc. is an independently owned supermarket chain in New England. Big Y operates 80 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut including 70 supermarkets, Fresh Acres Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors and nine Big Y Express gas and convenience locations with more than 11,000 employees.

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