Marion County

‘There’s a respectful way to retire that flag’: Ocala police set up American flag retirement box

OCALA, Fla. — The Ocala Police Department is offering a new way for residents to get a respectful end to American flags that have become faded and worn over time.

Police set up an American flag retirement box at the main entrance of the police headquarters at 402 South Pine Ave. in Ocala.

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Officers said the idea of having a flag receptacle came from Detective Coughlin, who is also a veteran.

“When an American flag becomes worn or torn, there’s a respectful way to retire that flag,” said Coughlin in a news release. “This retirement box is a way we can respect our national symbol and provide our citizens with this convenient service since we’re centrally-located.”

The receptacle was custom design by graphic artist Carl Englesman, manager of iCandy Designz.

The flag retirement box features patriotic artwork and unique images of historic buildings and oak trees from around Ocala and Marion County.

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The United States Flag Code describes proper etiquette and retirement for American flags. “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Ocala police said flags should be folded respectfully before being placed in the box and the Ocala Police Honor Guard will be responsible for the proper retirement of the worn flags.

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American flags needing to be retired will be accepted during normal business hours.

“We’re pleased to provide this flag retirement box,” Chief of Police, Mike Balken, stated. “We want to make it easy for Ocala citizens to properly retire their old or faded American flags. It means a great deal to us and to many others in our community.”

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