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American Flag Etiquette

Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium Collects Unserviceable American Flags for Proper Disposal

Contact: Stephanie McLaughlin, 617.899.2856
24/7 drop box set up in Manchester

Manchester, NH, September xx, 2017 Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium, one of the oldest family-run funeral homes in New Hampshire, is collecting worn, tattered or torn American flags and will use its facilities to provide a respectful retirement. As a community service, Phaneuf has placed a drop box outside its Manchester location, 243 Hanover Street, where well-loved American flags can be dropped off, any time day or night, to be disposed of properly.

The federal flag code stipulates that irreparably damaged or soiled flags should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. Phaneuf is collecting the unserviceable flags to ensure they receive a proper ceremonial incineration. Visitors can deposit their flags into the mailbox wrapped in a flag graphic and Phaneuf will manage the disposal. Phaneuf is also offering families of deceased veterans the opportunity to be cremated with one of these flags if they so choose.

“This program allows us to not only dispose of the American flag in the proper way, but to also honor our veterans,” said Arthur “Buddy” Phaneuf, President and CEO, Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium. “Not every veteran is cremated with a flag. If a family wishes, we will use one of the aged flags, collected from our drop box, to be cremated alongside the veteran. In this way, we retire the flag properly and give our veterans the respect they merit. It is another way we support our community by helping families whose loved ones have served our country.”

Norm Gravel, Commander of the American Legion Henry J. Sweeney Post 2 in Manchester, NH, supports the program. “In the book Our Flag published in 1989 by the House of Representatives, the colors of our great American flag have significant meaning: White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness and valor, and Blue, the color of the Chief, signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice,” he said. “The flag, the symbol of our country, should not be desecrated in any way. It should be disposed of with respect and dignity, preferably by incineration. We applaud Phaneuf’s effort, and any organization that strives to honor our flag in this manner.”

There is a proper way to dispose of a flag, though many groups around the country hold their own annual or semi-annual flag retirement ceremonies incorporating their own traditions. To learn more, go to: VFW American flag etiquette 

About Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium

Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium has been serving the public since 1906 and is one of the oldest continually-owned family funeral homes in New Hampshire. Phaneuf is the largest provider of funeral services in the state, and operates four full service funeral homes, two crematories, two non-denominational chapels and a cremation society.


"This program allows us to not only dispose of the American flag in the proper way, but to also honor our veterans."

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