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Proper American Flag Disposal and Etiquette

Burning the American flag is considered proper American Flag Etiquette and the right way to dispose of the American Flag.  In fact, The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags was approved through Resolution No. 440 by the National Convention of The American Legion meeting in New York on September 20-23, 1937:

“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.”

At that time most American flags were made of cotton or wool. Today, most American flags are made of nylon and last much longer.  

Recycling - A Great Alternative for Proper American Flag Disposal
Recycling American flags is an alternative and still showcases proper American flag disposal etiquette.  And today, a new nylon recycling process has been developed that converts virtually 100% of a nylon flag back into virgin-grade nylon material, which can then be repurposed into making another new American flag.

There are a few options available for proper American flag disposal recycling.  Consider sending your worn flag to American Flags Express Inc.‘s recycling program. Their goal is to work with the American Legion in establishing an alternative environmentally friendly flag retirement method. Not only are the old flags stored safely, they must accumulate at least 10,000 pounds before the storage unit will be accepted by the fabric recycler. is also working to ensure that American flags are decommissioned and recycled in a dignified way. They’ll also provide you with a discount to purchase a replacement flag.

Local Organizations
Here are a few organizations that may offer flag disposal services in your area:    

  • American Legion
  • Boy Scouts
  • Elks Lodge
For more information on how and where to properly dispose of your American Flag locally, disposing of your unserviceable American flags, visit the Tennessee State Website, Flag Honors, or visit the American Legion Flag Notification Web site.

For more information on Waste Connections Memphis or any number of our services, please contact us by email or call us at 901-398-5400.

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Visit the News section often to learn more about the many environmentally conscious and civics-oriented efforts Waste Connections of TN supports in the greater Memphis area. We will also provide service updates, Memphis recycling and waste disposal tips and informative articles on how you can support our efforts to keep Metro Memphis safe and clean.