Over the weekend, I saw what I thought was a blue mailbox and when I got closer and read the sign, I realized it was for something so much more important.

If you're thinking about getting a new flag for your house for Fourth of July this year, you're probably wondering how to respectfully dispose of your old one. I saw a repurposed blue mailbox outside of a VFW a few months ago, if you're looking for it to be properly retired and it seems as if Albany isn't the only city that's doing this.

According to the US Flag Store, citing the United States Flag Code, if you are unable to find a facility:

  1. Build a medium-sized fire in a safe, approved location. The fire will need to have reached a proper size and level of heat so it will fully burn the flag without leaving any remnants of the flag intact.

  2. If the flag is currently flying, respectfully lower the flag and remove it from the pole. Fold the flag in the traditional triangle fold.

  3. Place the folded flag on top of the fire, being careful to not injure yourself. Watch the flag to make sure it is fully incinerated

  4. While the flag is in the process of being burned, observe the flag with respect and reverence.

  5. While the flag is being incinerated, recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

  6. Once the process of burning the flag is complete and no part of the flag remains, safely put the fire out completely.'

You can properly donate your flag to any American Legion, VFW, etc and if you're unsure where to find one, you can type your zip code online here and find the nearest location to you.