The American Flag and Funerals

Posted on May 24, 2019 by Joe Pray under A Day In The Life of a Funeral Director, Uncategorized
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The Honor of the American Flag

The American Flag, the symbol of our Nation has had a long history in funeral rituals.  The nation’s veterans deserve recognition for their sacrifice for our country no matter when, where, and how they served.   Each veteran, and most service personnel, are eligible for a flag to be used to drape the casket in their funeral service along with the military honors.  Pray Funeral Home.

The 45 star flag

Joe Sr. and Joe Pray of Pray Funeral Home recently donated a 45-star U.S. Flag to Courthouse Square museum for display and preservation. According to, the 45-star became the Official United States Flag on July 4th, 1896, in observance of the admission of the State of Utah on that date, and was to last for 12 years. The Presidents to serve under this flag were Grover Cleveland (1893-1897), William McKinley (1897-1901), and Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909).

The flag draped caskets of the Civil War Veteran

This particular flag was used by Pray Funeral Home to drape the caskets of U.S. Civil War veterans during funeral services throughout the first half of the 20th century. The flag was moved from funeral home to funeral home within the community for each veteran’s funeral. Since its retirement following the funeral of the last local Civil War Veteran, it has been stored at Pray’s until this year, when it will move to Courthouse Square.

Retirement of a US Flag and Honoring Veterans

In reverence to all U.S. Flags and in appreciation of the service rendered by local veterans, Pray Funeral Home has adopted a new program for retiring U.S. Flags. A popular way to retire a worn-out American flag is by burning it in a ceremony conducted with dignity and respect. The flag must be burned completely to ashes. In keeping with these requirements, Pray Funeral Home has begun collecting worn American Flags to be draped over the remains of Veterans during the cremation process. In this way, the flag will be properly retired, and the Veteran will be cremated with the colors. This procedure has been verified as an acceptable method of retiring the flag.

Anyone with a flag in need of retirement is welcome to bring or mail the flag to Pray Funeral Home at 401 W. Seminary St., Charlotte.

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