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Scouts retire American flags for Flag Day

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Inside historic Lake View Cemetery, a large group of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and some Cub Scouts learned the importance of not only looking up to the American flag, but also how to bring it down with honor.

On Flag Day Saturday, they "retired" older flags through a carefully choreographed procedure that was repeated time and time and again.

"You don't want to disrespect the flag by flying it when it's destroyed, tattered, or worn," scout Stephen Matz of University Heights told us.

The older flags are cut, with the blue star field left intact.

The other pieces are put inside that blue section, and then the flag is folder over with the stars remaining on the outside.

At that point, scouts approach an adult leader and ask the same question:

"Permission to retire the flag, sir?" they ask, before exchanging salutes.

Once permission is granted, the flag remnants are gently put into burning barrels.

Scout leader Max Doss of Euclid calls it a "respectful way" of disposing of the old flags.

Doss says it's not just about teaching scouts to respect the flag, but also to respect "the history of the flag, and what it represents."