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Longmont Elks to Hold Flag Retirement Ceremony Saturday

July 14, 2018

The Longmont Elks are hosting a flag retirement ceremony Saturday in Hygiene. The community is welcome to bring faded or tattered flags to be retired.

If you go

What: Flag Retirement Service

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: 12087 N. 75th St, Hygiene

Cost: Free

The Longmont Elks hope the community will join its annual flag retirement ceremony Saturday in Hygiene.

The ceremony and community event is slated for 4 p.m. Saturday at 12087 N. 75th St. in Hygiene. People can bring their faded or tattered American flags for the Longmont Elks to dispose of respectfully, and properly, with a ceremony and a fire pit. The group also will hand out new flags on a first-come, first-serve basis to those who turn in their old Stars and Stripes for disposal.

The group usually holds the ceremony nearer to Flag Day in mid-June, but this year there were scheduling conflicts that forced them to move it to mid-July instead.

Longmont Elks Secretary Allen Lenort said that the annual ritual is important to the organization because its members are very patriotic and want the flags to be disposed of correctly.

“This is our 150th year of service to the community, actually, and the flag is very important to our order and to the Elks organization,” Lenort said. “We dispose of them with all due respect to the flag.”

The group received a $500 grant from its national organization that allowed them to purchase the 22 standard-sized American flags to give out.

Lenort said that the Elks will also be happy to accept U.S. Navy, Army or Marine Corps flags that are service-worn and need to be respectfully retired.

The Elks usually see between 50 and 75 people at their annual flag ceremony, but always hope for more.

“With moving it this year and not having too much publicity for several years, I’m not sure how many people we’ll get,” Lenort said. “Obviously, if 100 or 150 people show up, we’d love to have that problem.”

The Elks will serve hot dogs and hamburgers and attendees are encouraged to bring a side dish to share if they wish.

Because of the dry conditions in Northern Colorado, Lenort said there will likely be a few area firefighters on site to make sure the firepit doesn’t get out of control.

And time permitting, the Elks plan to hold a short Father’s Day ceremony at the event.

“We’ve got some poems that our officers will read and it’ll be a little ceremony about what it means to our society to be a father,” Lenort said. “We always have a Mother’s Day program, but this is sort of a test drive for the Father’s Day ceremony.”

Karen Antonacci: 303-684-5226, antonaccik@times-call.com or twitter.com/ktonacci

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