GRANDVIEW — Grandview’s American Legion Post has worked on commissioning a flag disposal box for worn and damaged flags and has found a home – albeit temporary – for the finished box.
Vice Commander for Projects for Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of Grandview Richard Zook stated, “It took us awhile to line up all the pieces needed to prepare the box for use, but earlier this year, everything fell in place.”
The decommissioned Grandview mailbox had been waiting through fair and ill weather, battling rust until it was time to get sandblasted and brought back into focus.
Monster Graphics in Yakima worked on designing the graphics and the Lockshop in Sunnyside assisted in the installing a lock for the new flag disposal box.
American Legion Adjutant Jim Davidson expressed the post’s work to increase the awareness for properly disposing American flags.
“Flags need to be disposed of properly. U.S. Flag Code calls for cremation of a flag as proper disposal, but people can’t easily do that, and they don’t know what to do with their flags and unfortunately, they’re often thrown in the trash,” Davidson stressed.
Not only is that not in accordance with The Flag Code, but there are hazards to health if a flag is cremated in an unsafe manner.
Davidson explained that the U.S. Flag Code was developed when flags were made of cotton, however, they are often made of polyester or nylon now. The issue with burning polyester or nylon is that it releases carcinogens and hydrogen cyanide. When inhaled, the fumes could cause death.
“So, if we have an identifiable flag box where people can drop the flag off, they’ll know that we’ll take care of them, that we’ll handle the proper disposal,” the Adjutant affirmed.
Post Commander Robert Gates stated, “We have not had the ability to correctly dispose of them by cremation due to objections by the county.” These objections come from compliance with the Clean Air Authority, but Gates commented, “We have just recently learned of a location where we may not properly have them cremated so we are more comfortable taking in more flags.”
As of now, the flag disposal box is sitting comfortably in dining hall of the Grandview Community Center. Post 57 hopes to bring the box to either the Grandview Police Station or City Hall, however, according to Zook, “It may end up at the museum.”
Additionally, there is a cardboard flag disposal box located at Ace Hardware in Sunnyside.