Larry Neu retires an old American flag in November 2007 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. VFW members will host another flag burning at 7 a.m. Saturday to properly dispose of about 250 flags.

File Photo

Larry Neu retires an old American flag in November 2007 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. VFW members will host another flag burning at 7 a.m. Saturday to properly dispose of about 250 flags.

VFW to dispose of torn and tattered American flags Saturday

If you go

What: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 flag disposal ceremony

When: 7 a.m. Saturday

Where: Moffat County Fairgrounds

• The public is invited to view the ceremony, or bring their own worn flags to be disposed. For more information, call VFW commander Mark Wick at 326-6998.

Burning American flags on the Fourth of July may not appear to be in keeping with the purpose of the holiday, but local veterans organizing such an event this weekend disagree.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 is scheduled to burn about 250 worn flags, beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

The Craig Rotary Club and American Legion Post 62 have been invited to participate.

The burning is not out of protest, VFW Commander Mark Wick said.

Rather, it's the proper way to retire an unserviceable flag.

Wick said he hopes people are aware of how to dispose of unusable flags.

A flag is considered no longer serviceable when it is extensively worn, torn, tattered or soiled, Wick said. Disposing of it improperly "would be a disgrace," the post commander added.

After the colors are burned, Wick said the flag's ashes must be buried.

About nine VFW members will be conducting the burning this year.

The VFW conducts flag burnings at least once a year to dispose of flags that have been given to them by residents or businesses that may not know how to dispose of the flags.

"It seems like people generally know we take care of that; it's something we have always done," Wick said. "We're just bringing it back to life."

Saturday's event is open to the public.

People are invited to watch the disposal take place, or bring their own worn flag that also needs to be retired.

Wick said he anticipates about 12 or so residents joining the VFW on Saturday.

At 10 a.m., after all the flags have been burned, Wick and other VFW members will go to the Craig/Moffat County Airport for a flag dedication ceremony, gun salute and a dedication of new airport terminals.

Wick said he hopes people keep the true meaning behind the Fourth of July in mind Saturday.

"It's the anniversary of our independence," he said. "That's why we really fly the flag."

Yesenia Robles can be reached at 875-1790.

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