Greene County Veterans Services collects old flags
BEAVERCREEK — People who possess old, worn, and/or tattered flags have another option to properly dispose of them.
Along with the Greene County Veterans Commission (GCVC), Greene County Veterans Services (GCVS) has created a new way for people to help retire them the right way. A U.S. Flag Retirement Drop Box has been placed at The Mall at Fairfield Commons on the lower level in the Armed Forces Hub.
All flags collected will take part in an official flag retirement ceremony that takes place on Flag Day at the Greene County Fairgrounds.
According to GCVS Executive Director Timothy A. Espich, the initial idea for the drop boxes was presented by the Greene County Veterans Commission.
“Each year, Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer does a flag ceremony on Flag Day at the Greene County Fairgrounds,” Espich said. “The sheriff’s office sponsors the event.”
In December 2020, the first drop box was placed outside of the GCVS office on Ledbetter Road in Xenia.
“Within the first two weeks of the box being placed outside of our office, two state flags and 20 U.S. flags were put in the box,” Espich said.
As of right now, there are no plans for a third box. However, Espich did stress that the staff of GCVS is always exploring different ideas.
“Both drop boxes are intended to be permanent,” Espich said. “If the relationship with the mall ends, we would look into moving that box elsewhere.”
After Flag Day has passed by, flags will continue to be collected. Then, they will be used for the following year’s Flag Day.
Besides the drop boxes, there have been other places where people can drop off flags that need to be properly retired. In the past year, those places included Greene County Sheriff’s Office, any police station in Greene County, and Murphy’s Auto Care in Beavercreek.
The entire process of a flag retirement ceremony consists of various steps. First, the national anthem is played. Next, respects are given to the flag. Then, the flag is ultimately hung and burned.
“As a retired vet with 23-years of service, the flag means a lot to the country and to the people who have served under the flag,” Espich said.