Thanks to a township Boy Scout, residents now have a more secure process to properly dispose of used and tattered American flags.
After obtaining the rank of Life Scout, BSA Troop 20’s Nate Kazunas began the search for an Eagle Scout project, and along with his father, eventually decided on a flag retirement box at town hall.
“After doing some searching online and around town for some inspiration, I landed on the idea of making a flag retirement box for the township after my dad noticed that the township had its own box in the corner of town hall, but it was overflowing and was a little beat down,” Kazunas recalled.
“So he pitched the idea to me of making a new one for the township and helping organize the process in which those flags are retired and collected.”
The process – like many Eagle Scout projects – was a long one. Kazunas estimates more than 90 percent of the work, start to finish, revolved around planning, from confirming the dimensions of the box to approving donated materials and getting the flags to appropriate organizations for official flag retirement ceremonies.
Through the work, Kazunas helped facilitate communication between his troop and Medford VFW Post 7677, to ensure the two groups will jointly monitor the box each month to ensure donated flags are dealt with properly and in a reasonable amount of time. As part of the process, Kazunas was able to take part in two flag ceremonies.
“Outside of building the box itself, I also worked on the flag retirement ceremony, getting to be a part of two of those,” Kazunas noted. “That included planning out how that ceremony goes, who will be attending, who leads it, the coordination of my troop alongside it … so that part also took a long time, too, which isn’t something I expected at first.”
His flag retirement box is 2-by-2-by-3-feet and sits on the first floor of the township municipal building. It was placed there earlier this year.
Kazunas noted that many people don’t know American flags should not be thrown in the trash or in a recycling container, but should instead be properly disposed of so they can be retired honorably.
“It’s pretty important; a lot of people aren’t aware of the proper disposal of flags,” said the St. Augustine Prep sophomore. “If one gets too beaten up or torn, they might just throw them out without thinking, but that’s not the proper way to dispose of the American flag or any flag in general.
“So hopefully it helps educate some people that pass by it (the box) about the right way to do it.”