Northeast Store News

Big Y Respectfully Retires More Than 10K American Flags

Big Y flags retirement

For the eighth year in a row, in honor of Flag Day, Big Y collected worn, torn, faded or badly soiled American Flags from May 23-June 12 for proper and respected retirement.

The American-owned supermarket chain based in Springfield, Massachusetts, has collected almost 57,000 worn American flags since the program began, including 10,721 collected this year. All worn flags were delivered to local Boy Scouts, American Legions, VFW’s and military organizations to ensure proper retirement with dignity and respect. All Big Y locations as well as Fresh Acres had special receptacles for accepting the worn flags.

The collecting organizations hold a special flag retirement ceremony that conforms to the U.S. Flag Code. “U.S. 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 proudly displays the American Flag outside of every location.

According to Big Y CEO Charles D’Amour, “We are proud to help our customers to respectfully retire their worn American Flags in one final display of patriotism for our country.”

Big Y Foods operates 80 locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut, including 70 supermarket, Fresh Acres Market, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors and nine Big Y Express gas and convenience locations. It has more than 11,000 employees.

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