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Informer: Burning the preferred method to dispose of flag

Last Modified: Monday, December 02, 2013 10:50 AM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

What are the proper procedures for taking care of a damaged American flag? Where can they be brought for proper disposal?

The federal Flag Code, which details the etiquette for the handling and display of the U.S. flag, says worn flags “should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

“The act is silent on procedures for burning a flag,” reads a 2011 Congressional Research Service report. “It would seem that any procedure which is in good taste and shows no disrespect to the flag would be appropriate.”

Veterans groups such as the VFW and the American Legion, along with scouting groups, have set up procedures for the destruction of unserviceable flags.

For more information, contact one of the veteran organizations’ posts or local scouting leaders.

The VFW’s guidelines, as listed on the group’s website:

1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.

2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.

3. Place the flag on the fire.

4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.

5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.

6. Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.


Rowdy dogs subject to nuisance laws

My next-door neighbor keeps an outside dog that now barks all hours of the night, interrupting our sleep. Whom do we call about this problem, and what can be done? We have tried talking to the neighbor, but they’ve done nothing.

Incessant barking — and other maladjusted behaviors — can get dogs declared nuisance animals in the unincorporated parts of Calcasieu Parish and in Lake Charles and Sulphur.

Residents in the unincorporated areas and in Lake Charles can report problems to Calcasieu Parish Animal Services at 721-3730. Sulphur residents should call the city’s Animal Control Department at 527-4577.

Before they cite a dog owner in Lake Charles, parish officials must look into the problem and receive sworn statements about the animal from two people who don’t live in the same household but reside in the same neighborhood.

Sulphur officials require the same thing.

In the unincorporated areas, the parish code says, “an animal can be designated a public nuisance … if, after an investigation following receipt of: A) sworn statements from two (2) witnesses, or B) a sworn statement from one (1) witness along with a declaration obtained from the investigating officer; the director or his designated agent determines that the animal is in violation.”


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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email

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