ZEBULON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Smoke spotted on the Zebulon Town Hall campus sent a positive message to that community Saturday. It came from pieces of a vintage American flag, cut into strips and carefully placed on burning wood by adults associated with Cub Scouts Pack 522.
The scouts were observers and participants during a flag retirement ceremony. Organizers, including Cubmaster Laurence Virden, prepared a flag with 48 stars on it by cutting the strips, white and red, individually before it was burned.
"When you look at it, it's no longer dignified to be flown," he said. "Different signs of ripping you see frayed marks, discoloration, soiled, things like that. We do it in a very, very ceremonious manner, very respectful. When I was younger, you know, I've heard of incidents where people would take this flag and throw them in the trash. And that is not the proper way. So this display today is to show the community the proper way to dispose of it. And also to as a service, we've collected damaged flags and we're going to actually retire for the community."
They collected more than 50 from their community but on a chilly afternoon, they only burned one flag before adjourning the ceremony.
"This gathering is especially important to me because it's held by the Cub Scouts," Ralph McCoy, an Air Force veteran who attended the ceremony told ABC11. "I think this is a very important occasion. And I really appreciate Lawrence Virdon and all the others that have been involved in putting this together."
"It is. It is. This is our way of honoring our veterans who served and protected the flag that fought for our freedoms," said Virden.