Enumclaw Boy Scout collects retired flags

Zachary Thorley comes from a long line of family who served in the armed forces.

Members of the community now have a means to respectfully dispose of faded and tattered American flags, thanks to an Eagle Scout project tackled by 15-year-old Zachary Thorley.

“I wanted choose a service project that would mean something to the community and honor my family members and other members of the community who are veterans,” Zachary wrote in an email. His father is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, his grandfather is a Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War and two of his great-grandfathers are veterans of World War II.

Zachary, a member of Boy Scout Troop 303 in Enumclaw, has initiated a two-phase project. The first step was to build three “retirement boxes” where anyone can drop a flag that has frayed, faded, become tattered or just is showing signs of age. Those boxes will be placed at Enumclaw City Hall, the Enumclaw fire station and at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars hall. Flags will be collected until Veterans Day, when they are ceremonially burned.

The U.S. flag code states: “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” When done properly, no trace of the flag should remain.

The Eagle Scout project was made possible thanks to donations by Delta Technology, Home Depot, RK Graphics and Olympic Energy.