Post 131 holds flag ceremony

Assistant scoutmaster Lee Bizek, right, salutes with scouts in Troop 560, including Brady Curtis, center facing, and Nickolas Chapple, left facing, and members of American Legion Post 131 during the flag burning ceremony on May 1. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – American Legion Post 131 held a flag retirement ceremony Sunday afternoon at the Shelby County Courthouse.

Boy Scout Troop 560 assisted Post 131 in retiring one American flag, donated by the county.

The old, torn flag was burned, and a new flag was raised in its place.

Mike Northcutt, commander of American Legion Post 131, said he was thankful for the help of the scouts.

“American Legion has always partnered with the scouts, and helped them with their flag education,” Northcutt said.

Nickolas Chapple, left facing, reacts to the smoke from the flag being retired during the ceremony. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Troop 560 Scoutmaster Sid Wheeler said the ceremony was beneficial to the scouts in a couple ways.

“They learn what needs to be done with a flag – flag etiquette,” Wheeler said. “It gives them a chance to do something for the community. This community supports us with everything that we do. It gives them a chance to give something back.

“It gives them a chance to learn to do a little civic duty,” Wheeler added.

The flag retirement ceremony was held as part of Post 131’s 80th birthday. Post 131 was founded April 21, 1931.

“We’ve had about a 20-year absence here in the community,” Northcutt said. “This is our chance to regroup with the scouts. We’ve been gone. We’re coming back.”

Post 131 had become inactive through the years, he said.

“We got down to two members,” Northcutt said. “Now we’re back to 50.”

At the end of the ceremony, the new flag is raised, then lowered to half-staff in remembrance of those affected by the April 27 tornadoes. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)