WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF)

If your American flag is faded or tattered, you may be looking for the right way to respectfully dispose of it.

Two area entities–Altmeyer Funeral Homes and Family Services of the Upper Ohio Valley–are collecting them, and making sure they’ll be retired respectfully.

Each retired flag will go on to serve a purpose when an area veteran passes away. 

“When we receive the flags, we take them to our crematory and a star is taken from each flag, and it is then affixed to a certificate that is given to the family of the veterans we’ve cremated,” said Sarah Barickman, outreach director and life celebrant for Altmeyer Funeral Homes and Crematory. “The flag is then folded and placed under the left shoulder of the veteran and is cremated with that veteran.”

Paula Calvert, CEO of Family Service of the Upper Ohio Valley, says she is delighted to be part of this service, that honors flags and veterans.

“Not only my family but the Ohio Valley has a strong history of supporting the military service in all branches and having respect for the flag,” Calvert noted.  “A lot of times, you have a worn flag and you’re wondering about the proper way of disposing of it. So we are pleased to be a community partner with this program.”

Flags can be left in drop-off containers during business hours at the following locations:

  • Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1400 Eoff Street, Wheeling
  • Altmeyer Funeral Home, 118 Grant Street, Moundsville
  • Family Services, Upper Ohio Valley, 2200 Main Street, Wheeling
  • Warwood Veterans Association, 598 Hazlett Avenue, Warwood

This is a program that has been offered for decades by Altmeyer Funeral Homes.

The call it “Treasured Veterans.”