FARMINGTON -- When the time comes to retire an American flag, there's really only one way to properly put Old Glory to rest -- and a group of Davis County veterans will do it on grand scale next week at the Davis County Fair.
American Legion Post 27 in Farmington will host an American flag retirement ceremony at this year's Davis County Fair, which is set to take place Aug. 14-17.
The flag event will take place at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Outdoor Arena of the Davis County Fairgrounds, 151 S. 1100 West, Farmington.
"Hundreds of flags contributed from all over the state will be burned with respect and dignity on a pyre that will create an unforgettable visual spectacle," said Post 27 Commander Kent Hansen. "We hope this will be the first of what will become an important annual event."
According to the United States flag code, when an American flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem to display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
"When you have a flag that is tattered and worn, you need to dispose of it properly," said Chuck Stephenson, a member of American Legion Post 27 in Farmington and commander of the American Legion District that includes Weber, Davis and Morgan counties. "But a lot of people aren't aware of what to do. You've got to burn it. The American flag is a symbol that deserves to be treated with the ultimate respect."
Stephenson said Top of Utah community members can drop their worn flags off at any Davis County fire department and they will be picked up by Post 27 members before next week's ceremony.
"We've already received quite a few flags," Stephenson said. "But we'll take as many as we can get."
Flags can also be dropped off at the ceremony the night of the event, as long as they are received by 8 p.m.
Stephenson said the idea to burn worn flags at the fair came from the Farmington Legion's sister post in Spanish Fork.
"For about 15 years, the Spanish Fork American Legion has done this down at their fair,' Stephenson said. "And they've gotten to the point where they have thousands of flags retired every year. And that's ultimately what we want to do. We want this to be a yearly event that people look forward to."
Other participants in the flag ceremony will include the Utah National Guard, Boy and Girl Scouts of America and members of the Davis County fire departments.
The keynote speaker for the event will be Maj. Gen. (ret.) Brian L. Tarbet, formerly the Adjutant General of the Utah National Guard.
The general public is welcome and admission is free.