There is a revered Johnny Cash spoken song called “Ragged Old Flag”. It tells the story of a city’s pride in its ancient flag, which still flies after surviving battles over time, burned by powder and torn apart.
But in reality, cities don’t let fly old, faded flags.
When an American flag is irreparably worn and is no longer an appropriate emblem signifying the strength of the nation, it is usually removed by fire and replaced with a new flag in bright red, white and blue colors.
The seven red stripes and six white stripes on the flag symbolize the original 13 colonies as well as sturdiness, valor, purity and innocence. The blue field represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice, and the 50 stars within it represent the nation’s 50 states.
To allow these colors to fly in a faded state, these stripes to crumble to shreds, is disrespecting the nation she represents and the soldiers who have been injured or died defending her.
And so this week, as Veterans Day approaches, the American Legion Post 100, the Ted Walt Post 12046 Veterans of Foreign Wars, the William Dunaway Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the organization’s supporters. veterans removed a bundle of flags that had reached the end of their useful life as active symbols of the nation.
The ritual took place at the headquarters of the American Legion Post 100 off the coast of US 90 at the western end of Marianna. A prayer and a brief declaration, something like a eulogy, preceded the lighting of the fire that engulfed these flags that fluttered so bright and daring at their peak.