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For a second consecutive year, Big Y will collect worn, torn, faded or badly soiled American flags for proper retirement in honor of Flag Day. From May 23 to June 5, all of the New England grocer’s locations will feature special receptacles for accepting worn flags. Last year, Big Y collected 4,400 American flags for proper retirement.
The flags will be sent to local Boy Scouts, American Legions, VFWs and military organizations for a special flag retirement ceremony that conforms to the U.S. Flag Code. After a final tribute, a flag is cut in 13 strips representing the original 13 colonies, with the 50 stars symbolizing the 50 states. The strips are placed on a fire, and the resulting ashes are collected and buried after the Pledge of Allegiance is recited and a moment of silence observed.
Established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, Flag Day is celebrated every year on June 14 to mark the adoption of the first national flag in 1777. Big Y displays the American flag outside of every location.
One of the largest independent supermarket chains in New England, Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y operates 61 stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts, with more than 10,000 employees.