LANCASTER, Penna. (March 25th, 2022) – On Thursday, March 24th, The Manheim Township Police Department unveiled their U.S. Tattered Flag Collection box at Oregon Diary, located at 2900 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA.
The permanent fixture is situated underneath the carport section in front of the local supermarket.
Local residents that have a U.S. flag that is worn, torn, faded or soiled, MTPD is encouraging everyone to bring their flag(s) to this collection box. The flags collected will have a retirement ceremony so respect and honor can be shown to each flag.
“Most people are unaware that there is a proper way to dispose of our nation’s flag. The officers came up with an excellent way to provide a needed service while at the same time educating the public about the proper way to treat our flag,” said Manheim Township Police Chief, Thomas Rudzinski.
The idea for building the box from scratch and collecting flags, came from MTPD Officer Mark Shivers, a 12-year patrolman. He was inspired by the Patriotic Order Sons of America who promote patriotism and love of the United States of America.
“They have a similar tattered flag box at a grocery store I frequent, and as a member, and someone responsible for collecting the flags from that box, I was amazed at how many flags were deposited,” said Officer Mark Shivers. “I was so proud to see how the flags were deposited. Although the flags were no longer serviceable, people still took the time and care to fold the flags neatly, with dignity and respect.”
Officer Lucas Starsinic also helped formulate the plan, as well as build and paint the box. Detective Nicholas Fritz did the laser engraving on the box cover. The entire project took 3-4 hours to building, including painting.
Officers Starsinic and Shivers plan on regularly checking the box and collecting flags that have been left at the Oregon Dairy location.
“We have a great relationship with the MTPD and love to support their events throughout the year, said Nancy Brown, Marketing Manager at Oregon Dairy. “When officer Mark Shivers emailed us about the possibility of placing their hand-made Tattered U.S. Flag Collection Box at our location, we didn't hesitate. It's great to offer a place for our community to bring their American Flags to be properly retired.”
The officers hope to add additional boxes in Manheim Township. Officer Shivers and Starsinic plan to host a public retirement ceremony for the flags they collect in the near future. The ceremony planning is very much in its infancy with a date yet to be determined.
Be sure to follow the Manheim Township Police Department for any announcements on future flag ceremonies - https://www.facebook.com/ManheimTwpPD