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Big Y’s second annual roundup of worn, torn, faded or badly soiled American flags for proper retirement has resulted in the collection of 5,649 banners, versus the 4,400 gathered last year. The Springfield, Mass.-based grocer provides the service to mark Flag Day on June 14.
All Big Y locations, including the company's Fresh Acres and Table & Vine locations, set up special receptacles for accepting the flags from May 23 through June 5. The collected flags went to local Boy Scouts, American Legions, VFWs and military organizations to ensure retirement in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code.
The organizations will hold special ceremonies that include cutting the flags into 13 strips, burning them as a symbol of purification and rebirth and burying the resulting ashes after the Pledge of Allegiance has been recited, as well as a moment of silence.
Family-owned and -operated Big Y displays the American flag outside each one of its 61 locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts.