This Flag Day, June 14, there were plenty of displays across Northwest Indiana of Old Glory in the familiar red, white and blue stars and stripes. But what happens when a flag is not in good enough condition to fly outside of a home or business and represent the United States of America?
According to U.S. Flag Code, if a flag is no longer serviceable and is faded, frayed, tattered, torn or worn, it needs to be taken down and destroyed. The recommended method for homeowners and businesses across the country is the same way that U.S. military personnel retire their flags – through burning.
Veterans on staff at Comcast in Northwest Indiana have united to ensure that flags are retired with proper military protocols according to Comcast’s Regional VetNet co-lead Karin Ladd.
“Comcast is committed to supporting the military community, its veteran employees and their families,” Ladd said. “Comcast’s Veterans Network Employee Resource Group (VetNet ERG) is another great example of how our connection to the military community has influenced our company culture and focus. This group serves as a vital support system for our military-connected teammates, providing opportunities for mentorship, networking and professional development. This group also participates in several veteran-related service projects each year.”
VetNet ERG has more than 450 members in Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region, which includes Northwest Indiana, and nearly 10,000 members across the company nationwide. VetNet ERG members include Comcast employees who are military veterans, active participants in the reserves, military family members and other supporters of the military community.
In 2017, military-connected employees at Comcast NBCUniversal launched the Flag Replacement program to honor the nation’s symbol and ensure that the American flag is proudly displayed in Comcast’s service areas.
“Through this program, our dedicated teammates work together to replace worn or damaged flags outside homes and businesses at no cost to the property owners,” Ladd said.
If a Comcast technician notices a distressed, faded or torn American flag at a home or business, they report the location to the local VetNet team.
“The VetNet team then contacts the individual or business and offers to replace the flag for free,” Ladd said. “Our flag replacement team will then retire the flag in accordance with military protocols. Our team assists anyone in need of a flag replacement, regardless of whether they are Comcast customers.”
Flag ‘ambassadors’ are trained on the customs and courtesies for properly handling the American flag, including the traditional 13 folds. Each of the folds represents different facets of life, liberty, this country and the U.S. armed forces.
“After replacing the flag, our flag ambassadors will either provide the old flag to the property owner or coordinate with the local American Legion post for proper disposal,” Ladd said.
To learn more about Comcast’s ongoing commitment to the military community, visit military.comcast.com.