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Big Y collecting worn American flags for proper retirement

For the third year in a row, in honor of Flag Day, Big Y is collecting worn, torn, faded or badly soiled American flags for proper retirement. Big Y is working with local Boy Scouts, American Legions, VFW's and military organizations to properly retire the collected flags.

From May 22 to June 11, all Big Y locations, including Fresh Acres and Table & Vine, will have special receptacles for accepting the worn flags. These flags will be delivered to the local organizations listed above to ensure proper retirement with dignity and respect. Since 2012, Big Y has collected more than 10,000 American flags for proper retirement.

The collecting organizations will hold a special flag retirement ceremony that conforms to the United States Flag Code.

United States Federal Law provides that "the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." (36 U.S.C. 176(k)) The burning symbolizes purification and rebirth when performed during a ceremony. After a final tribute, a flag is cut in 13 strips that represent the original 13 colonies, and the 50 stars to pay homage to the 50 states. The strips are then respectively placed on a fire. The ashes are then collected and buried after the Pledge of Allegiance is recited and a moment of silence is observed.

Flag Day was established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. It is celebrated every year on June 14 to observe the adoption of the first national flag in 1777. Big Y proudly displays the American Flag outside of every location.

"As a symbol of our being an American owned supermarket, Big Y is proud to help our communities by properly retiring their worn, tattered or soiled American flags," Big Y CEO Donald H. D'Amour said in a press release.