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Holt Memorial Chapel gives old flags a purpose

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Captain William Driver, shipmaster of the brig CHARLES DOGGETT, was presented with a United States flag as he was leaving on a voyage in 1831. When he saw the flag open up in the breeze, he proudly exclaimed, “Old Glory!” The nickname for the flag is still used today for the banner that has evolved along with the country it represents.

Millions of residents, businesses and government offices proudly display Old Glory, raising her high upon the flagpole to show pride and patriotism. Day in and day out, Old Glory can be seen enduring high winds, rain, snow and all of the elements furnished by mother nature.

All of this exposure can be tough on the fabric of a flag. Even when well taken care of, Old Glory is not immune to the effects of time. This leaves the question “What do I do with a flag when it becomes not so glorious?”

According to the United States Flag Code, the preferred way to dispose of an American flag is to burn it in a ceremonious and dignified manner.

Holt Memorial Chapel has incorporated a method of retiring Old Glory and honoring veterans with the dignity deserved by those who served our country and the flag that represents it.

Flags that are ready for retirement may be deposited into the flag box in the lobby at Holt Memorial Chapel. The flags will be draped over any U.S. veteran that has elected for cremation before beginning the process of cremation. The ashes of the veteran will be forever accompanied by the United States Flag. Co-Owner and Manager Phillip Collie states that there is no charge for this service and that any person or group that has flags in need of retirement may drop off as many as they wish at any time.

The solid walnut box was handmade and donated by Howard Moore of Batavia, who served in the Navy from 1956 to 1953. He presented the box to the staff at the chapel in January.

For more information about the flag receptacle, contact Holt Memorial Chapel at 870-741-3481 or mail@holtchapel.com

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