Flag Retirement

Ohio Cremation & Memorial Society accepts U.S. flags that are no longer worthy of display. These flags will honor a fallen veteran by being draped across them at the time of cremation. There is no charge for this service.



Flag Retirement Brochure


Meet our U.S. Flag

On June 14, 1777, the United States Congress resolved “that the Flag of the United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 stars, white in a blue field representing a new Constellation”. After this was passed, our Flag looked different each time a new State joined the Union because a new stripe was added. The Flag soon required very tall flag poles, so on April 4, 1818, Congress enacted: “that from the fourth day of July next, the Flag of the United States be 13 horizontal stripes, alternate red and white, that the Union be 20 stars, white in a blue field, that on the admission of every new State into the Union, one star be added to the Union of the Flag…” As states were admitted the position of the Stars were changed so that today we have stars in nine rows: five rows with six stars and four rows with five stars.

Flag Retirement

At the time of a veteran’s death whose family has chosen cremation, permission will be sought to drape that veteran with an unusable flag. This allows for the retirement of a flag in a most dignified manner and honors both the veterans service to their country and the American Flag. Upon receipt of the cremated remains of their veteran, acknowledgement shall be expressed stating the last deed of service for that flag, which was to drape their veteran in the cremation process. Unusable flags may be donated to the memorial center for proper retirement. A final tribute to the American Flag and our Veterans…

  • As we gather to pay our respects to departed veterans and to offer a final tribute we remember and give thanks for their duty.
  • This banner, the American Flag, is a banner of love and devotion. It is a fitting memorial to the courage and thoughts of all American veterans.
  • The blue field of the “Star Spangled Banner” represents the sky that overlooks our land and denotes the watchfulness of God the Eternal.
  • The red stripes of Old Glory tell us of the blood, sweat, and tears that have been offered by our fellow veterans and their devotion to the freedom of their country.
  • The white stripes of the United States flag boldly proclaim the peace that those veterans helped to bring to our future generations. The American Flag…..under which our veterans so nobly served.

Flag Etiquette

The flag…

  • should never be in the dark
  • should not be used for any decoration in general
  • should never be used for any advertising purpose
  • should not be used as part of a costume, except as part of military, fireman, policeman uniforms
  • should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, etc. placed or attached onto it
  • should never touch the ground when lowered and received into waiting hands and arms
  • should be folded appropriately when stored
  • when a flag is no longer fit to serve, it should be burned in a dignified manner

“The Gift Outright”

The land was ours before we were the land’s She was our land more than a hundred years Before we were her people. She was ours, in Massachusetts, in Virginia. But we were England’s, still colonials, Possessing what we still were unpossessed by, Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Something we were withholding made us weak. Until we found that it was ourselves We were withholding from our land of living, And forthwith found salvation in surrender. Such as we were we gave ourselves outright (The deed of gift was many deeds of war) To the land vaguely realizing westward, But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced, Such as she was, such as she would become.

Robert Frost; 1874-1963

Ohio Cremation & Memorial Society - Columbus
Phone: (614) 840-0900
5464 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214

Ohio Cremation & Memorial Society - Mansfield
Phone: (419) 529-6267
9 Chambers Rd., Ontario, OH 44906

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