Brownwood VFW Post celebrates nation's birthday with flag ceremony

BROWNWOOD, Texas - The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Brownwood, also known as the VFW Post 3278, celebrated Independence Day on Thursday with a flag retirement ceremony, where it was out with the old and in with the new.

"The outgoing flag, the retiring flag, has its last honors rendered and then the brand new flag is placed over it," VFW Post senior vice commander James Masters said.

The purpose of the event was to pay respect to the banner of the country and the country itself.

According to the VFW website, placing the flag on fire is a proper and respectful way to dispose of it. A salute is often given before it is thrown, with dignity, into the flames. 

"The flag is our symbol of independence and the symbol of our country," VFW commander Keith King said. "Once it's done its duty, it's important to properly retire it and to properly bring another banner to our forefront where we can honor it."

Masters said the ceremony was like a commemoration for the rebirth of America.

"It renews our faith in the nation," Masters said. "It's just like starting anew again. It's just a re-commitment to our nation's values, our commitment and faith to the living gods that that is where the rights of our nation come from."

But that is not all they're celebrating.

"We also have to recognize the military forces that have kept our liberty all these years," Masters said.

"We can celebrate freedom of religion, freedom to speak and freedom of choice," King said. "It's definitely not about the fireworks. Just the word independence should say it all. They have the freedom to choose and they should cherish that."

Brownwood's VFW Post has more than 350 members, all of whom have served in imminently dangerous areas. They also hold a flag retirement ceremony in June on Flag Day.

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