Modern flags are constructed of nylon and polyester in order to extend their useful life.  These materials offer exceptional appearance; however, they are a synthetic fabric manufactured from petroleum based materials and are not a natural fiber like traditional cottons or wools… and they do not burn like cotton or wool.

As the “Most Patriotic City in America,” Lake Havasu City homes and businesses generate hundreds of worn and tattered flags each year in need of proper disposal.  In order to reduce the number of flags retired by burning the Lake Havasu City Fire Department accepts retired flags for disposal by other methods.

Retired flags may be deposited in the collection box located in the lobby at city hall.

  • Burial.  The Fire Department will deliver a retired flag for you to intern with a family member.  Burial with your loved one allows them to perform a final act of patriotism. 
  • Donation.  We have partnered with Stars for our Troops and serve as a collection point for the program.  Retired flags may also be donated by mail.  Check out for more information.
  • Recycle.  Flags can be recycled for a nominal fee.  Check out for more information.
  • Private Ceremony.  A private home ceremony may be conducted to dismantle your flag in a dignified way.  The material is no longer a flag once it is dismantled and may be discarded.

Many people believe that retired flags must be burned and that there are no other suitable alternatives.  The United States Flag Code (Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8, Paragraph K), states that when a flag “is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

On a personal level we embrace the tradition of burning retired flags; however, on a professional level we strongly urge you to avoid burning nylon and polyester.  Any “dignified” method honors the spirit of the flag code and the “preferred” method does not constitute the only method.  We invite you to pursue other methods.