Flag Retirement Ceremony

Members of Boy Scouts Troop 128, the Navigators, hold a vigil while an American flag that flew at City Hall in Rancho Palos Verdes is properly burned during a flag ceremony March 5. 

The proper way to dispose of the American flag is through a retirement ceremony, and together Boy Scouts Troop 128 , the Navigators, and Fire Stations 53 and 106 conducted such a ceremony March 5 at the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall.

The retired flag flew above Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall since 2015, but had become worn and tattered.

The traditional method of retirement is to incinerate the flag. On March 5, the flag was cut into four pieces. While the Boy Scouts were performing the flag dissection, members of Fire Station 53 started a small wood fire.

The Boy Scouts of Troop 128 then maintained a vigil over the fire until no traces of the flag remained. When the fire was extinguished, the scouts collected the ashes and placed them in the camping pot that belonged to Robert Emmet Ryan, one of the founders of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Coincidentally, Ryan’s grandsons – Max and Nick Ryan-Shirley – are members of Troop 128 and participated in the ceremony.

The ashes were then buried on City Hall grounds.

Among those in attendance were Mayor Susan Brooks, Councilman John Cruikshank, Troop 128 members Ashton Horeczko and Matthew Mihelich, and Scout Master Paul Tetreault.

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