American flag retirement box installed at Dairy Queen

Becky Campbell • Updated Oct 2, 2019 at 2:57 PM

There's a sweet treat waiting for anyone doing their patriotic duty to the American flag after a retired flag drop box was installed recently at a Johnson City restaurant and ice cream parlor.

Larry Taylor, scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 237 Kings Mountain Post 24, said the dedication of the box and its purpose was important to give the American flag the respect it’s due.

“The American Legion obtained a mailbox from the post office and they thought it would be a good idea in conjunction with their Boy Scout troop to put in a drop box,” Taylor said.  “When somebody comes here with a flag that’s worn and tattered or whatever, instead of throwing it in the trash … we’ll take it and do a retirement ceremony for that flag.”

Taylor said it’s important to dispose of worn flags in a proper manner.

“The American flag is abused abroad and at home ... a flag represents every single one of us in the United States. When somebody disrespects it, they’re disrespecting everyone,” Taylor said.

He said there are a few ways to properly dispose of a worn flag, and the Scouts in Troop 237 will ensure the flags dropped off will be treated with the respect they deserve.

Shalena Stevens, manager of Dairy Queen, 402 E. Main Street,  where the box is located, said the store owner, Mike Harris, was approached about the idea and was glad to get involved.

“We appreciate all that the flag stands for and we want to try to get them retired like they’re supposed to be retired.”

And the sweet treat that goes along with dropping off a flag?

“Anyone who takes a flag into the store to let employees know they have a flag to drop off will receive a free ice cream cone,” Stevens said.

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