At Coastal Resources of Maine in Hampden, a new waste processing facility, there's been a bit of a disturbing trend recently. Since they opened, they've pulled about 30 American Flags of various shapes and sizes from their refuse. And as they've been finding them, they've been pulling them out of the garbage and hanging them over various railings in the facility.

There's a right way, and a wrong way, to dispose of the old stars and stripes, so people at the facility reached out to a local Boy Scout Troop to help out with getting it done the right way. Since most of the flags they've collected so far came through in June, the general belief is that folks were replacing old flags with new ones before July 4th.

But there's really only a couple ways to properly dispose of a flag. For instance, according to the BDN, the VFW says the way to properly destroy one is...

...folding the flag, lighting a fire big enough to incinerate it, saluting and saying the pledge of allegiance as it burns, and then burying the ashes.

The Boy Scouts recommend cutting the flag in an approved manner, and sending the pieces to folks who can dispose of them the right way. But really, everyone can probably agree that throwing the old stars and stripes in the trash is not the respectful way to honor our flag.

Hampden's own Boy Scout Troop 41 will be holding a service at 6:30p.m. on September 11th, at the Veteran's Monument at the town office, where the flags will be burned respectfully, and properly according to U.S. Flag code. It's hoped that the event will raise some awareness of retiring a flag respectfully.

Kudos to everyone involved for taking care of our greatest symbol of freedom. It warms the heart to know there plenty of folks out there looking to do the right thing.