How many times have you seen a U.S. flag thatís worn or soiled being displayed as, supposedly, a patriotic gesture of the ownersí support of our nation? Well, thatís wrong.

Flags that are in a deteriorated condition are required to be retired in an appropriate manner, and a new flag should be used to replace it. The show of pride in the United States that developed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and during the subsequent war against terrorism prompted a renewed interest by many Americans in flying the nationís colors. But that same pride must extend to keeping the flags we display in proper condition.

Three military service organizations, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Pecan Valley Detachment of the Marine Corps League, will conduct a flag retirement ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday at Camp Bowie Memorial Park. This is an ideal opportunity for residents with flags that need to be retired to take care of this important duty. Flags owners can do so knowing that the rules regarding the disposal of old flags will be followed exactly.

Flags may be dropped off at several locations this week. Doing so would be one appropriate way to observe Flag Day.

Brownwood Bulletin