It's Flag Day

J. H. Osborne • Jun 14, 2017 at 8:19 AM

GREENEVILLE — Wednesday is Flag Day. If you aren’t sure what that means, the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site has something you might want to check out.

The site will present a Flag Day program, including a flag retirement ceremony, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, 121 Monument Ave.

Why have such an event at the former U.S. president’s grave?

Johnson died in 1875. Among his final wishes was that his body be wrapped in one of the most sacred of our national symbols, the U.S. flag.

Visitors to the site today are invited to explore and discover more about the origins, history, and etiquette of the U.S. flag in addition to taking part in a flag retirement ceremony.

June 14 was the date the flag’s design was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777.

According to the American Legion, on Flag Day in 1923, members of the organization, along with representatives of 68 other patriotic, fraternal, civic and military groups met in Washington, D.C. to draft a code of flag etiquette. Congress adopted the code in 1942.

The U.S. Flag Code states, “When a flag is worn beyond repair, it shall be retired in a dignified manner. The preferred method is by burning.”

The retirement ceremony will fulfill this requirement.

Acting Park Superintendent Fonce Bates says the program will serve as an excellent opportunity for visitors to witness a solemn, patriotic, and emotionally moving ceremony normally conducted within the confines of Scouting and veterans organizations.

The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site encourages visitors of all ages, especially Scouts and other youth organizations from the community, to attend this program.

For more information, contact the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Visitor Center at (423) 638-3551.

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