1,200 retired American flags donated to Virginia War Memorial

1,200 retired American flags donated to Virginia War Memorial

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Just as every old photo has a story, one can only imagine the tales worn American flags could tell - let alone 1,200 of them.

Woody and Nelson funeral home dropped off hundreds of donated American flags to the Virginia War Memorial for proper disposal Wednesday.

The used, faded and tattered flags are bound for proper disposal.

No matter where the flags flew, their purpose was the same: to proudly boast the strength and freedom this country was founded on.

"It’ probably something we don’t think about-- ‘what do you do when the flag that’s been over your home is not ready to be retired?’” Clay Mountcastle, director of the Virginia war memorial said.

“People care about their flag," he said. “They want to know they’ve properly disposed of it.”

The exchange program allows anyone with an old flag to trade it for a new 3-foot by 5-foot one.

“Each of these well-worn symbols of our great nation represents a home’s pride in our country’s heritage and its hope for our country’s future," Bernie Henderson, president of Nelsen and Woody Funeral Homes, said "They were respectfully flown by families of all income levels, political ideologies, religious beliefs, racial backgrounds and gender identifications: their commonality was, and continues to be, their love of the United States.”

This year outdid the first collection - doubling the number of donated flags for proper disposal.

You can think of this as the first step in a meticulous retirement ceremony.

The flags will soon be sent to the American Legion shred and burned with a specific wood before they make it to their final resting place.

“We are proud to have had the honor of providing new flags in exchange for these flags and to now be entrusted with ensuring their respectful final disposition by the Virginia War Memorial,” Henderson said.

This is just the second year of that flag exchange program and at this rate, with the number of donated flags doubling every year, there’s no doubt Central Virginian’s patriotism strengthens over time.

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