Dorothy Hansard could throw away the tattered 30 by 60 foot American flag that flew in front of Piedmont Hardware and Lumber before a storm damaged it, but she said that wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

“I just respect it too much to do that,” said Hansard, the store manager.

Instead, the flag will be retired and burned with other damaged flags at the Unserviceable Flag Ceremony held by the Piedmont American Legion Post 98 this Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Usually held on Flag Day, the ceremony was created in 1937 at the 19th National Convention of the American Legion in New York. It includes a retirement and salute of the flags, and ends with the ceremonial burning to dispose of them.

This will be the second consecutive year that the Piedmont post has held the ceremony. They disposed of 65 flags in last year’s ceremony. They also retire state, POW and MIA flags during the ceremony.

Legion member Gene Bradford said the veterans organization collects flags year round and have a collection box at the Piedmont Revenue Department, where people can drop off unserviceable flags that are tattered, torn or dirty.

Bradford said it’s important to participate in this ceremony.  

“We call it a dignified flag burning,” He said. “I just think people need to be more cognizant of our country’s flag and what it represents and its proper display.”

He hopes that community members will come to the ceremony, whether they have a flag to dispose of or not.

“Everyone is cordially invited and we encourage people to come out,” Bradford said. “The ceremony is over in about 10 or 12 minutes and then we start burning the flags at the end.”

The ceremony will take place at the Piedmont Veterans Memorial Park. In the case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held Thursday, June 12 at 8 p.m.