More than 200 flags were retired Thursday, Sept. 26, by the Dent American Legion at a flag retirement ceremony at St. Henry’s Area School. A crowd of students from St. Henry’s and St. Paul’s Lutheran School were on hand to watch the ceremony and to help Legion members distribute flags.

After a brief ceremony, Legion Commander Ron Bjelland and Legion Chaplain Frank Wines gave each student a flag that was brought to the fire for disposal. Some students even brought their own flags from home.

Linda Bjelland said she and Ron, her husband, often find flags dropped off in their mailbox throughout the year.

Bjelland said patriotism can’t be encouraged enough, and she’s proud of all the students that were able to attend.

As St. Paul’s students walked single file back to school to catch the afternoon bus, Ron Bjelland and Wines remarked at how battered some of the flags were.

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According to the U.S. Flag Code, a flag should be retired when “it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display.”

Flags could be dropped of at the United Community Bank or ITOW Museum, prior to the retirement ceremony.

Membership to the American Legion is now available to more than 6 million additional veterans under the Legion Act of July 2019. The Dent American Legion is providing free membership to those eligible for the first year.

Call Karen Doran, 218-371-8753, for more information.