High Winds Leave Metro American Flags Tattered

OMAHA (KPTM)- Two months of scattered high winds, sometimes up to 50 miles per hour are taking its toll on metro area American flags.

Matt Barry, an Eagle Scout candidate didn't know the flags would be damaged by the winds when he started a flag depository project.

"I was determined to do it," said Barry, who will find out if he reaches Eagle Scout status in less than three weeks.

"For people who don't know what to do with the American flags when they get old and tattered, we'll take them and retire them at camp outs around every three months," said Barry.

The camp outs include proper burning ceremonies of the tattered flags complete with residue clean up.

Properly disposing of the flags became prominent when President Roosevelt imposed a flag code in 1942.

Barry built the depositories for St. Margaret Mary church. One is half-full of World War II flags that got too old to fly. They were deposited after he spoke to the church about his project.

"We can take the flags from all these high winds and properly dispose of them," said Barry.

A myriad of frayed flags are flying around the metro following the recent high winds.

There is a federal law against flying tattered flags. It is not punishable because it infringes on the right of free speech. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and the Boy Scouts all provide proper disposal of flag services.