Traverse City-area 18-Year-Old Helps Retire More than 600 U.S. F - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Traverse City-area 18-Year-Old Helps Retire More than 600 U.S. Flags

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A Traverse City-area Eagle Scout loves his country -- and wants to show it through flag retirement.

He built four collection boxes so he care take care of aging flags properly in Grand Traverse and Benzie Counties.

Levi Cederquist learned how to properly retire the us flag as a Boy Scout after his parents ran into flag collection boxes in Wisconsin.

That gave him the idea to make some right here in Northern Michigan.

“We have come together to dispose of a flag that is no longer serviceable. This flag has served as a reminder of our nation and those who defended our freedom and it has served us well,” Levi Cederquist said.

Cederquist is an 18-year-old is on a mission to give the U.S. flag its due respect.

Something he’s had a passion for since childhood, but now

“My grandmother had given me flags for years. She'd give me 20 or 30 flags every year that people would bring in and they didn't know what to do with.”

Now, he's built collection boxes that are set up around Grand Traverse County.

When they fill up, he retires the flag with a ceremony that follows the U.S. Flag Code.

“I read a little piece about the flag and how it's served its purpose and our country and showed who we are and what we do.”

The flag ceremony always requires at least one person to help out with displaying the flag before its retirement.

Then he says the Pledge of Allegiance with whoever’s present.

“Then we fold it into thirds and then we lay it into the fire and then there's supposed to be complete silence until the flag is completely engulfed in flames and is burnt completely.”

Six months after getting the boxes in town, he's retired more than 600 flags.

“I believe it represents who we are as Americans. It represents all the men and women that have died and fought for our freedoms and that allows us to live our lives like we do every day.”

The boxes are at Long Lake, Blair, Inland and Almira Township halls.

If you have a flag that needs to be retired, you can drop it off at any of those locations.

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