No matter how old and tattered they are, American flags aren't trash, says a New York City sanitation worker who has saved more than 700 from an undignified fate over the last year. After Ed Shevlin started rescuing flags he found in the trash, organizations began presenting him with tattered flags of their own to be disposed of properly, CBS reports. The old flags were ignited after a ceremony at the US Merchant Marine Academy over the weekend where Shevlin was presented with a special commendation.
A lot of people toss their old flags in the trash when they should really be dropped off at any veterans' post for dignified disposal or given to Boy Scouts, who also handle flag disposal, says Shevlin, whose campaign began when he found some tattered flags in the back of his garbage truck. "My campaign is really about education," he tells the New York Daily News. "It’s about saving the flags and keeping flags from going into the garbage in the future."