What do you do with flag grommets left behind after retirement ceremonies?

Tuesday-TalkbackMany communities turn to Scout units to perform the solemn, patriotic duty of retiring worn-out flags.

There are several ways to retire a flag, but burning is the preferred method in the U.S. Flag Code (Section 176).

Some parts of the flag don’t disappear after burning, though: those metal circles called grommets.

Rather than leaving those physical reminders of the retired flag buried in the ashes, many units hang onto them. That left Bill L., committee chairman of Montana Troop 1438, wondering what other units do with these flag grommets.

For this edition of Tuesday Talkback, share your advice with the Scouting community. Here’s Bill’s email to me: 

As a troop we do several flag retirement ceremonies a year. When we do these ceremonies we will burn anywhere from two to six flags. There has been some discussion on what to do with the grommets. Some of the boys would like to keep one or more as keepsakes, and others would like to give them to family members who were in the military. Some of the leaders do not think that the boys should have them at all.

I am curious as to what do other units do with the grommets from the flags at their retirement ceremonies?

Thank you,


Share your response to Bill’s question below.

Tuesday Talkbacks

Have a question you’d like me to pose to the Scouting community for a future Tuesday Talkback? Email me with the subject line “Tuesday Talkback.”

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.