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Old 2008-04-07, 03:55 PM   #1
Ham.Clan
 
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Default Proper Disposal of Old Canadian Flag

I'm curious to see what everyone's opinion is on this.
I took down our tattered winter-beaten flag yesterday and replaced it with a brand new one.
I'm very careful during the entire process to make sure I never let the old one touch the ground as I removed it, or the new one as I replaced it.
We had a bon-fire yesterday as it was beautiful out, and I carefully folded the flag and put it in the fire for a dignified disposal.
My wife was aghast at this! Why was I burning the flag?
I remarked that I was disposing of an old flag, not burning it in hatred.
I asked how she would have disposed of it, and she said in the garbage.
Somehow, the thought of the flag underneath a pile of coffee grounds and table scraps didn't seem as dignified as my option.
I honestly thought this was how you were supposed to discard old flags, but couldn't recall where I had heard/read such a thing.
Well, I did a little research on this today. The weird thing is, I could find information on "Disposal of Flags" on the Canadian Heritage website, but only in the Google cached version.
It's at the bottom of this page:
http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:5Gr14PVtWBoJ:www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/etiquette/2_e.cfm+Disposal+of+Flags&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=ca
I've sent an email to Canada Heritage - Ceremonial and Symbols for clarification.
The last thing I want to do is commit a disrespectful act to the Maple Leaf.

Last edited by Ham.Clan; 2008-04-07 at 04:13 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 2008-04-07, 03:58 PM   #2
hugh
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Quote:
When a flag becomes tattered and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way by burning it privately.
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Old 2008-04-07, 04:01 PM   #3
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I had heard before that burning it in a dignified way was the proper disposal method. You did the right thing.
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Old 2008-04-07, 05:00 PM   #4
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Yep, I had always remembered burning, in a respectful way, as the proper method of disposal.
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Old 2008-04-07, 05:12 PM   #5
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Interesting find on that website, but what ever happened to Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse? You could have cut it up into pieces and had a bunch of rags for washing your car.
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Old 2008-04-07, 06:00 PM   #6
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If I had to dispose of a flag, I would toss it in the garbage. I don't see that as disrespectful and, anyway, it's just a flag.

(In my opinion, there are more important things to worry about in this country and this world than whether or not a symbol is properly venerated.)
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Old 2008-04-07, 06:28 PM   #7
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As long as you didn't make a stink about it eljay, I wouldn't see a problem doing that. However, knowing how others feel about it, I would recommend keeping your disposal methods private, as you may upset some people
Sometimes we do things, even if we don't think its necessary, just so we don't offend others, which isn't that bad, is it?
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Old 2008-04-07, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljay View Post
... and, anyway, it's just a flag.
Tell that to a veteran.
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Old 2008-04-07, 07:30 PM   #9
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Burn it you say? When I removed our old one it went into the garbage.
Didn't know that was the proper way to dispose of an old flag. I would of thought burning was the last thing to do because of all you hear in the news about flag burning.
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Old 2008-04-07, 07:38 PM   #10
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It's all about intent.

You can burn someone in effigy or a flag in protest.

Or you can cremate a person when they die or burn a flag to dispose of it.
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Old 2008-04-07, 09:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham.Clan
Tell that to a veteran.
Will do.
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Old 2008-04-07, 09:12 PM   #12
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I have to admit I threw my ripped flag in the garbage. Burning it didn't occur to me. I did feel guilty about putting it in the garbage, but I didn't know what else to do with it. I've actually thrown several away, come to think of it.

On the positive side, I buy new ones whenever I see the first sign of ripping. It seems more disrespectful leaving a ripped one up there.

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Old 2008-04-07, 09:15 PM   #13
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Let's get a poll going to see how many people here have a flag up at their house.
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Old 2008-04-07, 09:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrooloose
... I buy new ones whenever I see the first sign of ripping. It seems more disrespectful leaving a ripped one up there.
Agreed.
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Old 2008-04-08, 10:52 AM   #15
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I've never owned a flag. I thought about it once, back in the late 90's when the gov't had some kind of "free flag" promotion going on, but never followed through. Dunno. Guess I'm just not one for outward expressions of national pride.

I don't even like having to stand for the national anthem at hockey games, which to me seems unnecessary. It's a sporting event, not a call to arms. But this is how countries establish mindless nationalism and mass subordination to authority.

Doesn't mean I hate the country or feel ashamed of it. And I would never demean a veteran by substituting the values and ideals they fought for with a silk screened maple leaf. Pride is in your head and in your heart, and some of us can contemplate these things respectfully without needing an object to symbolize it.

I understand how important it is for some to have a symbol, the same as some people need a grave site to visit or a monument where they can go to pay respects, but no one ever died for a "flag"; they died for the important stuff behind it.

Burning it privately seems perfectly acceptable to me.
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