HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (WFLA) — As American flags fly high on this Veterans Day, you may notice your flag needs to be replaced, but retired flags should be treated with dignity.
Hillsborough County is offering to properly dispose of old, tattered American flags in a way that respects our nation’s emblem. Several locations are offering drop-off options where old stars and stripes will be respectfully discarded in a ceremonial burning of the flag.
If you’d rather dispose of it yourself, it’s recommended you fold it in the ceremonial triangle, then burn or bury it.
“To burn the flag, to give it its right is to say the Pledge of Allegiance while you burn it,” Army veteran Eduardo Busquets said. “The same way for burying it. Put it in a nice wooden box, dig a hole and bury it while you say the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Busquets told 8 On Your Side he has his own tattered flag, but this one holds sentimental value. He said he would fold the flag and put it underneath his bulletproof vest while serving in the army in Afghanistan.
Residents wishing to hand over worn American Flags for a ceremonial burning may deliver them from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following Hillsborough County locations:
- Veteran Resource Center at Veterans Memorial Park, 3602 U.S. 301 N., Building #3610, in Tampa
- First-floor lobby of Fred B. Karl County Center, 600 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa. (Ask a security official where to place them.
Hillsborough County’s Solid Waste Services now accepts faded and tattered American Flags, which are collected and disposed of properly. Drop them with an attendant between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, at these locations:
- Alderman’s Ford Solid Waste Facility, 9402 County Road 39, Plant City
- Hillsborough Heights Solid Waste Facility, 6209 County Road 579, Seffner
- Northwest County Solid Waste Facility, 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave., Tampa
- South County Solid Waste Facility, 13000 U.S. 41, Gibsonton
Other American Flag drop-off locations include your local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion posts, James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, and Boy and Girl Scout organizations. Some retail outlets also accept old flags.