Mooney promotes flag etiquette

Robert Smith
Scouts take part in a flag retirement ceremony Saturday at Camp McClintock. Dan Mooney, an officer of the American Legion post in Pawhuska, filmed the ceremony for the purpose of creating an educational video to distribute to schools.

An officer of American Legion Post 198 of Pawhuska collaborated with area scouts Saturday on a project intended to help increase awareness among youth of the details of U.S. flag etiquette.

Dan Mooney, a U.S. Air Force veteran who has a background in television camera work, took footage Saturday at Camp McClintock of scouts learning about the proper way to “retire” old, worn, faded American flags from use. There’s a specific, detailed ceremony that involves burning the flags.

“This is not getting into our school system,” Mooney said, explaining his concern that older Americans aren’t doing an effective job of passing on what they know about respect for the flag.

“This is what we’re faced with; lack of knowledge; lack of respect,” he told scouts before the flag retirement ceremony Saturday afternoon in a clearing at Camp McClintock. He encouraged them to understand that what they were about to do is something special.

“Be proud of what you’re doing,” Mooney told the youth. “This is a very honorable thing.”

Mooney said he intends to edit the video he shot and develop it into a short, educational film intended for distribution to schools.

Scout leader Randy Haddon helped coach the kids through the details of the ceremony, so they were able to appropriately dispose of dozens of flags no longer suitable for public display.

The American Legion formally adopted the Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags in 1937, during its nineteenth annual convention, held in New York City. The Legion remains active in promoting careful and respectful treatment of the flag.

Right after the flag retirement ceremony Saturday, the rain that had been looming all day poured down in sheets at the camp.