These traditions and laws are an important part of our mission. We spend time in the community working with our youth and veteran groups promoting proper flag etiquette and educating the community on the proper display and disposal of the "Stars and Stripes."
We work hard to make sure all city and town flags pay proper respect to our country and the veterans who served to keep us free. We replace tired flags constantly, battling with the rugged New England weather in a never ending fight to make sure official flags look official. Recent budgetary changes in Melrose and Saugus have afforded us more resources to respond when flags need replacing, but we still need your help. If you see a flag that needs to be replaced, we ask that you contact us immediately.
Several city and town initiatives in the district prove our commitment to this mission.
Stars and Stripes Salute - For a small fee, residents can honor their favorite veteran by donating a flag in their name to fly on an official city flag pole. All proceeds directly fund our flag replacement program.
Flag Rotations on Veterans Day and Memorial Day - Prior to these important veteran holidays, city officials work to replace all flags to ensure a proper tribute.
Flag Retirement Ceremony - Every Memorial Day, Melrose Veteran Services holds a flag retirement ceremony, working with local youth groups to properly retire worn flags and educate participants on proper flag handling.
Outreach - Last month, I spoke with first graders from the Lincoln Elementary School, reading the story "F is for Flag." We provide this type of outreach throughout the year and involve our newest generation of Americans as much as possible to keep traditions alive.
Flag Retirement Boxes - We have four "retirement boxes" located throughout the city - City Hall, both VFW posts and the Melrose Public Library for residents to properly dispose their worn flags. This project was a joint effort between the Melrose Veterans Advisory Board, Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School and Rolling Thunder MA1.
Flag Retirement Box - Residents can drop off their worn U.S. flags at the front entrance to town hall. This collection box, created by the boys scouts and monitored by the Wakefield American Legion Post 63 serves as a place to collect flags for annual retirement on Memorial Day.
Report a Worn Flag - Dozens of town locations fly U.S. flags in honor our our country. If you see a worn flag, please contact Wakefield Veteran Services and we will have the flag replaced as soon as possible.
Funding - Due to a joint effort by the Saugus Veterans Council and town officials, a measure is moving through the budget process that would centralize flag replacement at Saugus Veteran Services. While there is an associated cost, flag replacement is an important town function. Town Administrator Scott Crabtree has recommended this measure and it will next be considered by the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee.
Report a Worn Flag - Dozens of town locations fly U.S. flags in honor our our country. If you see a worn flag, please contact Saugus Veteran Services and we will have the flag replaced as soon as possible.
If your group would like to have one of our veteran services officers speak at your event about proper flag etiquette we are happy to try and accommodate the request. Please contact District Director Ryan McLane to schedule a time, place and topic.
* For more information on proper flag etiquette, please see U.S.C. Title 4