“I believe that the flag should be properly retired with honor because — for the people who died for our country they shouldn’t be disposed of in the trash like a piece of garbage,” Minot Eagle Scout Ethan Beede said.
Ethan knew he wanted to do something unique for his service project, and got the idea after seeing a flag drop off in another city.
“One scout actually did one in Rapid City, and since we’re kind of a bigger town I decided to do one at the north end of town and one at the south end of town,” Ethan said.
Worn out or tattered flags are slipped into the dropbox and will be retired by burning by the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion.
This seems like a simple concept, but one of the hardest parts of the project for Ethan was actually just finding boxes for the flags to be placed in.
“We cannot get donated post boxes, so we actually had to reach out and buy them brand new.”
The boxes cost about $1,000 each and were painted by staff at Jerome’s Collision Center in Minot.
Ethan’s father, Scott says as a boy scout, his son has always had strong feelings patriotism — so the project was a full-circle moment.
“Watching him grow through this process and seeing the, you know, the impact it’s had, it’s just been a very special moment to be able to witness that through the years,” Scott said.
Veterans in the community are also appreciative of the project.
“We always honor our flag, no matter what condition it is. These are in poor condition but we don’t wanna toss them on the ground we wanna place them respectfully, and then take care of the burning and the proper retirement,” VFW Post 753 Post Commander Loren Headrick said.
Now, thanks to Ethan’s project, retired American flags will have a final resting place in the Magic City.
The drop boxes are located at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building, at 1100 31st St SE, and the American Legion building, at 1949 N Broadway.