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FLAG DAY: Tulsa VFW retires over 5,000 flags

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Posted at 5:27 AM, Jun 14, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — June 14 is Flag Day, the day for honoring Old Glory and her history.

This morning, VFW Post 577 in Tulsa ensured some flags get a final salute.

The VFW started commemorating Flag Day decades ago by conducting a flag retirement. They move the worn and tattered flags from their storage, and retired over 5,000 flags that are no longer serviceable, with help from the Boy Scouts, Trail Life, and community volunteers.

Originally, they had over 2,000 flags to retire. However, before 9am Friday, they received thousands more donations.

They receive upwards of 3,000 flags each year from across Oklahoma.

Sandwiched between Memorial Day and Independence Day, Flag Day is often overshadowed by those two in the minds of the public. However, VFW Post 577 Commander Joshua Starks told 2 News it holds a special place in the hearts of veterans.

“To the veteran, we really love Flag Day. You know, that flag is the flag we carried into the combat with us,” he explained. “When you’re coming back to base from mission, you’re staring at that flag as it’s flying over the base, and it’s a source of comfort when we’re coming back in from a long mission. And so, we just— everything about the flag and Flag Day, for us veterans, it’s so important.”

“When our brothers and sisters are sent home—and, unfortunately, they’re falling in combat—that flag drapes over their body throughout the entire ride. And as they come back home, that flag is then folded up and given to that family,” Starks also said. “So, for us, the flag—you know—it’s an icon, it’s a symbol. But it’s more than that. It’s something that we fought for, something that many of us died for, but it’s something that we all love.”

People who have a damaged flag can donate it to the VFW by placing it inside this flag-shaped box outside its building.

tulsa vfw post 577 flag day
The flag dropbox outside VFW Post 577.

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