UPDATED: Mercer County Hosts Flag Retirement Ceremony

Please note the event has been cancelled as of 7/17/19 due to forecasted extreme weather conditions. The County issued the following information: “Out of concern for our attendees and the firefighters who volunteer for this annual event, Mercer County Veteran Services has cancelled the annual flag retirement ceremony that had been scheduled for Thursday, July 18. The planned rain date is also cancelled.”

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes and the Mercer County Office of Veteran Services invite citizens, civic groups, and local Scout organizations to participate in an official flag decommissioning ceremony on Thursday, July 18, at 6pm in Veterans Park (Klockner Road entrance) in Hamilton Township. In case of rain, the ceremony will be Friday, July 19, at 6pm.

Each year, the Mercer County Office of Veteran Services partners with American Legion Post 31 and the Hamilton Township Patriotic Committee to hold the time-honored decommissioning, also known as “flag retirement.” This year’s ceremony was rescheduled from June 18 due to inclement weather.

American flags that have become tattered, soiled or are otherwise no longer fit for display will be burned in a dignified manner in a large pit during the ceremony and the flames will be doused by firefighters from the Nottingham Fire Company of Hamilton. Veteran Services has collected thousands of flags eligible for retirement from American Legion Post 31, private homes, the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in Hamilton and government offices.

“The flag of the United States symbolizes the values we hold dear and seek to defend, such as liberty, equality, opportunity, democracy and inclusion,” Hughes said. “It deserves a special sendoff, and on July 18 we’ll demonstrate a proper way to retire an American flag.”

Individuals and organizations that wish to have an American flag properly disposed of should bring the flag to any Mercer County office, including County Connection, Route 33 at Paxson Avenue, Hamilton; Lawrence Headquarters Branch of the Mercer County Library System, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence; McDade Administration Building, 640 South Broad St., Trenton; and Mercer County Veterans Home, 2280 Hamilton Ave., Hamilton. 

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