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EBR American Flag retirement program may soon become nationwide

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BATON ROUGE - Several weeks ago, city officials launched an American flag retirement program. Collection boxes were put out at six different libraries. More than 200 old, faded, tattered flags were dropped off.

"People held onto their flags for so long, some of these flags have probably been in their garage for so long. They didn't know where to bring these flags to," Elena Branzaru, the Acting Chair for the Mayor-President's Advisory Council on Veterans Affairs, said.

Branzaru is a veteran, and soon to be the founder of Operation Redstick Flags. 

"I've had people reach out from 27 different states, what I want to do is call it Operation Redstick Flags, create an interactive QR code so we can locate where other places will have collection boxes. Let them know how we passed the resolution, and what are retirement plan is with the proper folding," Branzaru said.

On Saturday, volunteers came out, helping her fold the flags in preparation for them to be properly retired. 

"I liked learning about it, and being able to experience it, my grandfather was in the army growing up. To have this part of him with me makes me feel good to be a part of that," Girl Scout Lillian said.

Branzaru's plan is to give flags to different organizations so they can hold their own retirement ceremonies. 

"Some of it is burying it, others are burning it. It could take hours for a burning event," Branzaru said, "A flag is actually a living piece of history. It's a living being itself, it has breath. Being folded up in a box is not what we want for America."

The Mayor-President's Advisory Council on Veterans Affairs plans to host more events in the next coming weeks. Click here for more information.

Here's the locations and contact information for the libraries involved:

Main Library: 7711 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806, (225) 231-3740

Baker Branch Library: 3501 Groom Rd., Baker, LA 70714, (225) 778-5940

Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library: 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810, (225) 763-2240

Central Branch Library: 11260 Joor Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818, (225) 262-2640

Jones Creek Regional Branch Library: 6222 Jones Creek Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70817 (225) 756-1140

Zachary Branch Library: 1900 Church St, Zachary, LA 70791, (225) 658-1840

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