Boonville American Legion Post 52 performs Unserviceable Flag Ceremony

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Members of the Boonville American Legion Post 52 salute the decomissioning of flags at Veteran's Memorial Park during Flag Day Monday in Boonville.
Cooper County Sheriff Chris Class, Major Kerry Webster and Sergeant of Arms Gene Walje cut up a flag that was being decommissioned Monday at Veteran's Memorial Park during Flag Day in Boonville.

Post 52 of the American Legion, Boonville, Missouri, performed a public Unserviceable Flag Ceremony in honor of Flag Day on Monday, June 14, at the Boonville Veteran’s Memorial Park at the corner of Main Street and High Street.

Under resolution No. 440 established in 1937, the Unserviceable Flag Ceremony has been an integral part of American Legion ritual. To uphold this tradition, Boonville Post 52 held a public ceremony to honorably retire flags that have become too worn and damaged to remain in service.

During the ceremony, unserviceable flags from the public will also be collected to be retired honorably in this or future ceremony.

Twenty flags were decommissioned or unserviceable at the ceremony. 

In attendance for Monday’s ceremony were members of American Legion, Thoma-Tuttle Post 52, which was established in August of 1920.

The American Legion Organization, established in 1919, is the largest organization of wartime veterans in the nation.

Jorge Vizcarralagos, US Navy Veteran and American Legion Post 52 Commander, said in response to this year’s Flag Day Ceremony, which includes the decommissioning of a Cooper County Flag that was unlawfully and unceremoniously take down and defaced in protest, gave a statement:

“As members of the American Legion, we are proud to perform this Decommissioning of Unserviceable Flags Ceremony for the public. We take it, as our solemn duty, to educate and inform the public regarding the symbolism and rituals of this long standing tradition. Although these flags have become tattered, wore, or one case unceremoniously defaced, the symbol of our Union and freedom for all can never be broken. The American Flag as a symbol alone, serves the cause of Freedom and Justice for all people. However, it is up to all Americans to come together and uphold and honor our flag and continue to form a more perfect Union.”

Flag day is an event which marks the day the country adopted the American Flag.  It was on June 14, 1777 when the Continental Congress passed an act establishing an official flag day for the county.

It only contained 13 stars during this time and was made white on a blue background to signify a new constellation. Since this day the Flag has survived battles, inspired poems an songs, and has served as a symbol of our union, community and freedom.

About a hundred years ago, the American Legion led the creation of the U.S. Flag Code which sets the guidelines that still exist to this day. The code protects and upholds the honor of the flag and those who sacrificed to protect this great symbol of freedom.

Flag day is a designated day for the American Legion to decommission unserviceable flag to uphold this commitment made over one-hundred year ago.