LIHUE — Paula Schultz of the American Legion, Post 54, Kapaa, said she learned something about the American flag Monday at the Kauai Veterans Center.
“I was an Army nurse,” Schultz said. “There was much to do and we never really had time to learn.”
Jim Jung, American Legion chaplain, incorporated civic lessons into the traditional Flag Day gathering where weathered and used American flags were retired by Boy Scouts from Troop 83.
“Flag Day is Wednesday,” Jung said. “In Hawaii, we are fortunate today is a holiday for many people. We are able to retire the flags without inconveniencing a lot of people because they’re not at work, today.”
Jung recruited Girl Scouts from Troop 823 to assist with the retirement protocol, which involved retiring the colors by burning.
“There is a difference between burning,” Jung said. “There are countries who don’t like us and burn the flag out of disrespect. We burn the flags in respect, and because it is the specified means of retiring the flags.”
The Girl Scouts learned about the symbolic colors, the stars, and the proper placement of the stars and stripes, getting the seal of approval from John Iwamoto, a Purple Heart Korean War veteran.
Although celebrated for years before an Act of Congress signed by President Truman designated June 14 as National Flag Day, the Flag Resolution of 1777 created the adoption of The Stars and Stripes and the date as Flag Birthday.
On Kauai, one of the events that take place is the retirement of old, weathered, and damaged flags which can be deposited in a special container outside the Kauai Veterans Center and stored until Flag Day. The responsibility is led by the American Legion, Post 54, Kapaa with help from the Boy Scouts, and now, the Girl Scouts.
Young girl scouts who participated in the Flag Day retirement earned a Girl Scout tab, and a special grommet laced onto a nylon heat-sealed cord from a flag being retired.