For the fourth consecutive year in honor of Flag Day, Big Y Foods is collecting worn, torn, faded or badly soiled American flags for proper retirement. From May 21 to June 10, all Big Y locations are featuring special receptacles for accepting the worn flags.
The collected flags will go to local Boy Scouts, American Legions, VFWs and military organizations for a retirement ceremony in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code, which cites burning as a symbol of purification and rebirth. After a final tribute, a flag is cut in 13 strips representing the original 13 colonies, and then placed on a fire. The resulting ashes are collected and buried after the Pledge of Allegiance is recited and a moment of silence observed.
Established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, Flag Day marks the adoption of the first national flag in 1777. Since 2012, Big Y, which displays the American flag outside every one of its locations, has collected more than 18,000 flags for proper retirement.
Family-owned and -operated Big Y, one of the largest independently-owned supermarket chains in New England, operates 63 locations throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, with more than 10,000 employees.