Redmen Lodge dedicates box for retiring American flags

Published 8:06 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

When an American flag has flown its course, subjected to the wear and tear of daily use, the United States Flag Code prescribes that the flag, “should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Now, Beaufort County residents have a place they can drop their flags to make sure that happens. On Sunday, the Improved Order of Redmen Tau Lodge No. 18 dedicated a new flag retirement box at the lodge building on East Third Street in Washington.

The bright red box, which resembles a large postal box, is decorated with patriotic imagery and was a gift from the Winterville Mohican Tribe No. 56. Woodmen Life provided a flag for the occasion, which was raised by a group of scouts from Boy Scout Troop No. 99 and Sea Scout Ship 1117.

YOUNG CITIZENS: Assisting in the flag raising during the ceremony, local scouts from BSA Troop No. 99 and Sea Scout Ship 1117 turned out for the occasion. (Washington Daily News)

“We did the same thing at our local tribe in Winterville,” visiting Redman Tim Avery said. “I was fortunate enough to get two boxes, and I couldn’t think of a better group to give it to.”

Serving as the keynote speaker for the event Maj. Gen. Gordon Nash (U.S. Marine Corps, Ret.) shared portions of the U.S. Flag Code, the experiences of the Marines who raised the flag at Iwo Jima and his own personal experiences at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Please remember — non sibi sed patriae — not for self, but for country,” Nash said at the conclusion of his speech. “That’s why we’re here today.”

While the Redmen now offer a place to retire their flags with dignity, another local organization has a mission of replacing them. Woodmen Life Chapter 623 offers new American flags, free of charge, to churches, nonprofits, schools and government offices.

To learn more about The Improved Order of Redmen, visit To view the full U.S. Flag Code, visit To request a new flag for your organization from Woodmen Life, call Audrey Woolard at 252-946-6666. Anyone wishing to retire an American flag can do so at the Washington Lodge, located at 503 E. Third St, Washington.