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Thursday, June 20, 2024


Flag Retirement Held at CMCo Park South

Members of Boy Scout Troop 73
Christopher South

Members of Boy Scout Troop 73, West Cape May, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 386, Cape May, are shown with the lid that will cover the burning station.

By Christopher South

DEL HAVEN – Members of Boy Scout Troop 73, West Cape May, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 386, Cape May, participated in a flag retirement ceremony on Flag Day, June 14, at Cape May County Park South in Del Haven. 

The flag retirement was held at the American flag burning station, which was the Eagle Scout project of Zachary DuFault, of Lower Township, who attended the ceremony.  

DuFault said he looked around the area and saw no place dedicated as a flag retirement station.  

Life Scout Brennen Boyle, who read the history and protocol for U.S. flag retirement, said there are several appropriate ways to retire or dispose of an unserviceable U.S. flag, including shredding it, burying it, or burning it, which is the preferred method.  

Flag retirement ceremonies had been conducted in the same location by veterans groups, however, there was no permanent location and facility for doing so. 

“I decided to build one,” DuFault said. 

The area was identified at Cape May County Park South, in sight of the Disabled American Veterans post in Del Haven.  

DuFault, who had to supervise his project, per Scouting rules, had pavers sold to create a border for the burn basin. Some of the fathers of Scouts helped with the more skilled work of laying pavers and installing benches and posts.  

Burkhardt Welding and the Green Creek Woodshop and Metal Works helped with the fabrication of the burn basin, including the ornamental lid, identifying it as “Cape May County-United States of America Flag Retirement Station.” 

DuFault, 18, who is already a junior at Stockton University, was required to finish his project before he aged out of Boy Scouts of America. His fellow troop members participated in the Flag Day retirement ceremony.  

Boyle said it is required to retire a U.S. flag when it is no longer serviceable; that is, when torn, faded, or when it is no longer fitting for display. Boyle said even in the retirement ceremony, the flag must be treated with respect.  

The field of blue that contains the stars is called the canton or the “union.” Before a flag is to be burned, the union is cut out and kept aside. Then each stripe is individually cut out and, one by one, added to the fire.  

Boyle explained the significance of the number of stripes, which represent the 13 original colonies, and the colors: White, symbolizing purity, and red, standing for courage. The union, which has one star for each state in the union, is the last part of the flag added to the fire. 

The poem “My Name is Old Glory” was read and taps was sounded by Boy Scout Bugler Garrett DeMarzo.  

Contact the author, Christopher South, at or 609-886-8600, ext. 128. 

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