Members of the American Legion properly dispose of flags on Flag Day (KRBD staff photo by Maria Dudzak).

June 14 is Flag Day. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777.  Here are some highlights from a ceremony held at Ketchikan’s American Legion Post.

More than 50 people gathered outside the Joseph T. Craig Post 3 for a short ceremony and disposal of American Flags.

Commander Hunter Davis welcomed the crowd.

“It’s not a long day, but we’ve got a full day of activities, and the like, once we get started on the disposal of the U.S. colors, and Alaska colors, and POW/MIA flags, and Canadian flags. If you want to turn it in. We’ll dispose of it properly.”

Legion officers participated in a short ceremony preparing the flags for disposal.

 “Comrade Commander, we wish to present a number of unserviceable flags for our country for inspection and disposal.”

 “Comrade Sergeant at Arms, advance with your detail and present the flags for disposal and inspection.”

“Comrade Vice-commander, we present these unserviceable flags for your inspection.” (fade out)

(fade in) “And is the present condition of these flags the result of their usual service as the emblem of our country?”

“These flags have become faded and worn over the graves of our departed comrades and dead soldiers, sailors and airmen of all our nations wars.”

“Present these flags to the First Vice-commander for inspection.” (fade out)

(fade in) “Have any of these flags served any other purpose?”

“Some of these flags have been displayed in various public places.”

“Present them for final inspection and dignified disposal.” (fade out)

(fade in) “Let these faded flags of our country be retired and destroyed with respectful and honorable rights, and their places be taken by bright, new flags of the same size and kind, and that no grave of our soldier, sailor, marine or airman dead be un-honored and unmarked.”

Following an invocation, the flags were carefully unfurled and lowered in a metal burn barrel as dark smoke billowed.

Attendees were invited to a lunch with hot dogs, apple pie and ice cream, as well as to socialize inside the hall. There also was information on flag etiquette and a flag quiz.

Ketchikan’s American Legion holds the ceremony annually. Anyone wishing to turn in old, tattered flags for proper disposal can drop them off at the Legion Post on Park Avenue.