Bullard Scout conducts installment ceremony for flag repository at Bullard Fire Station

May 9—The Bullard Fire Station is now an official drop-off site for retired U.S. Flags thanks to the efforts of a local Boy Scout.

Hunter Hassell conducted a ceremony to officially install a flag repository box at the Bulllard Fire Station Tuesday. Hassell obtained and wrapped the box then conducted the installation ceremony as his Eagle Scout project.

Additionally, Hassell said he attended a church where he gave a presentation to a youth group covering the things the flag represents and how it should be retired. He also conducted a flag retirement service.

"Not many people know that Bullard has a [Scout] troop or where it is or how to retire a flag. I decided to put this [box] in," he said, adding that the Scout troop would retrieve the flags for their retirement ceremonies.

Hassell read about the flag from a retirement speech script.

"I am your flag. I was born on June 14, 1777. I am more than just a piece of cloth shaped into a colorful design, I am the silent sentinel of freedom for the greatest sovereign nation on earth," he read.

Part of the speech declared the significance of each symbol and color of the American Flag.

The red stripes stand for the blood spilled in defense of the nation. The white stripes symbolize the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons in battle. The blue field represents God's heaven under which the flag is flown and the clustered stars stand for the unity of the 50 states, according to the speech.

Hassell reminded those present that the American flag is also referred to as "Old Glory."

Hassell also quoted the flag code, which 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."

A fellow troop member, Barron Aggen, read the poem, "I Am the Flag," by Howard Schnauber.

To conclude the ceremony, Hassell placed the first flag into the retirement box, officially placing the box into service.

Bullard Fire Chief Peter Riley said he had heard of the retirement boxes but didn't know what one looked like when Hassell first reached out to him.

"He sent some pictures of the concept and I thought it was a very neat idea," Riley said. "We get flags dropped off here for retirement."

In fact, Riley had a box full of used flags that he presented to Hassell following the installation ceremony.

"We always look for a way to properly retire the flags so this is a great opportunity," Riley said.

Hassell said Scout Troop 366, of which he is a member, will regularly check the depository for any flags that need proper disposal.

The box sits near the entrance of the Bullard Fire Station located at 215 S. Houston Street.