WALLACE — When it comes to retiring Old Glory, whether it be that small ragged old flag on the front porch or that huge one flying above a business, there’s a certain protocol to follow.
For those in Shoshone County who don’t know how or simply don’t want to do it themselves, the National Association of Counties has provided the county with a convenient disposal box so that the flags can be taken care of respectfully.
County Assessor Jerry White was the person who looked into getting the disposal box after he had people ask him about what to do about their old flags.
“I have had numerous people approach me on how to properly retire a flag and I was curious myself,” he said.
The box, located just inside the entrance of the Shoshone County Courthouse in Wallace, is available to the public during normal business hours. Those looking to dispose of a flag simply lift the lid and put it in the box.
These flags are then taken by White to the Osburn VFW Hall, where VFW Commander Mike Atwell and other VFW members conduct a short disposal ceremony before burning them.
Atwell says that the local fire department, Shoshone County Fire District No. 1, also assists with the process.
“Sometimes we get overrun with flags that need disposing of,” he said. “So we go to the fire department to get their assistance.”
White plans on having the box become a permanent fixture in the courthouse so that anyone can treat their old flag with respect.
“I have utmost respect for the flag and what it means,” he said. “When I saw this opportunity, I knew there were a lot of other people in the Valley that feel that way and want to retire their flags with dignity.”