County library branches to be used for United States flag retirement

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Boxes to dispose of United States flags which warrant retirement will soon be at County Library branches.

A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote April 30 approved the use of $13,500 of Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funding for the purchase of flag disposal boxes as part of a regional flag etiquette program.

“Today’s action is the first step in creating a regional flag retirement program,” said Supervisor Greg Cox, who also provided the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funding from his budget.

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program is intended to provide grants to non-profit organizations for the furtherance of public purposes at the regional and community levels.

In addition to non-profit organizations, county supervisors can also fund schools and fire departments, and supervisors can also use money from their budgets to supplement other county funding for specific county projects such as parks, roads, and libraries.

Each county supervisor recommends the allocation of his or her Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funds, although those allocations must be approved by a majority of the board.

The projects do not have to be within the district of the county supervisor who recommended the use of his or her funds.

Cox is active in the National Association of Counties, which has a flag etiquette program including flag retirement boxes.

“The United States flag is a symbol for all Americans,” he said.

Flag retirement boxes allow residents to drop off old, worn, tattered, frayed, faded or other United States flags which are no longer in suitable condition to be displayed.

The City of Carlsbad operates its own library system and has had flag retirement boxes at its branches since 2013. More than 1,200 flags have been retired through the Carlsbad library boxes.

The County of San Diego has library branches in unincorporated communities and eleven incorporated cities contract with the county for library services.  In addition to Carlsbad the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, Escondido, National City, Oceanside and San Diego also operate their own library systems. The regional flag retirement program to be funded by Cox’s donation for boxes covers the seven city library systems and also the San Diego Law Library.

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant will allow for the purchase of 100 flag retirement boxes.

Flag retirement box maintenance and flag retrieval will be provided by the San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The American Legion and the Us4Warriors Foundation will perform the actual flag retirement activities.

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