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Jun 14, 2010 6:26 PM by Dan Boyce - Montana's News Station

American Legion honors Flag Day by burning, respectfully

BELGRADE - Americans celebrated the 233rd anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. flag Monday.

In Belgrade, members of the American Legion observed the day by retiring flags deemed unfit for use. Behind their Main Street Headquarters, the group incinerated over 100 torn and tattered flags from around the area in an old trash can. They ranged in size from small desk flags to a coffin flag that was 8 feet long. The burning was accompanied by a touch of pomp and circumstance. Post Commander and Vietnam Navy Veteran, Ken McMillon asked if each flag was truly unserviceable, and those present saluted while the first flags were placed in the inferno. McMillon said it's the proper way to dispose of old glory, rather than throwing it away.

"Within the legion for years and years and years, proper ceremonies like this have been done. So we maintain the respect that is due the United States Flag...because it's went through a lot," he said.

McMillon added the American Legion does not appreciate flag burning out of protest.

President Woodrow Wilson officially established National Flag Day in 1916.

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