Flag Retirement & Collection

"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

- US Code Title 4 Chapter 1 Section 8 (k)

Flag retirement boxes have been placed in Westford's Post Offices for residents to place their unusable and unfit US flags. The flag retirement boxes were designed and constructed by Ethan Hansen
with help from his Boy Scout troop and others. Several times per year, the flags will be taken out of the boxes by Pack 100 and given to the American Legion so that they can be stored and then retired in the proper way. These boxes are meant only for Flags that need to be retired, and not for trash. If you notice any problems or have any pressing questions that need to be answered, please use the following e-mail adress:eagleflagretirement@gmail.com. Ethan is a veteran of Pack 100 and earned his Eagle rank with Troop 159.


Pack 100 Flag Collection Policy

Every other month, Pack 100 has the duty and honor to collect unserviceable US Flags from Westford's US Post Offices. This effort is to continue those begun by Ethan Hansen as part of his Eagle Scout project in 2006. Ethan is a Pack 100 veteran, and earned his Eagle rank with Troop 159. Listed below is Pack 100's policy for collection of unserviceable flags. The policy is designed to ensure proper dignity, honor, and respect are shown for our national banner. If full compliance cannot be met on the planned day, it is better to reschedule to a later date.



All participants must wear the Scouting Class A uniform. Only Scout leaders and Cub scouts can participate. Sorry, no siblings. Participants must include a minimum of 1 Scout Leader and 2 Cub Scouts (more are certainly welcome and encouraged). Scout Leaders are to ensure the Scouts show proper respect.


Materials needed

  • A container for unserviceable flags. A dark-green plastic bag is preferred. Do not use anything remotely transparent to ensure that the unserviceable flags are not visible within. For this reason, don't use white plastic bags.
  • Spray-type furniture polish and cloth.
  • Three copies of this page.


Collect the unserviceable flags

  • Collect flags from the bins at each of Westford's three US Post Offices ( Main, Forge Village, Nabnasset ).
  • While inside the Post Offices, disrobe any outer garments (rain jacket, winter coat, etc.) in order to allow the general public to see the Scouting uniform.
  • Transfer unserviceable flags from the bin to your container in a dignified manner.
  • Remove unserviceable flags from bins one at a time. Do not remove them in bunches.
  • Place each flag completely into your container to ensure it is not visible from the outside.
  • Separate any trash from the unserviceable flags. Do not place trash into the container with the unserviceable flags.
  • Wipe the outside of the bin with furniture polish. Clean the inside of the bin as needed.
  • Optionally, fold any unfolded flags in the proper manner.
  • Report any needed repairs of the bins to the Cubmaster.


Deliver the unservicable flags

  • Deliver the flags to American Legion Post 437.
  • Place your containers of unserviceable flags inside the front door.
  • Attach a copy of this checklist to each container to identify Pack 100's efforts.
  • Do not place any loose flags inside the American Legion. All flags must be completely within a container.
  • Deliver unservicable flags to the American Legion before Flag Day, June 14, the date of the American Legion's Ceremony for the Disposal of Unservicable Flags.