East LA veterans gather to honor and retire the flag

The burning of American flags is usually associated with anti-U.S. protests. But burning is also one of the proper ways to destroy a damaged or worn out flag, according to flag etiquette. On Sunday, the members of Eugene Obregon American Legion Post No. 804 in East Los Angeles gathered to dispose of more than 30 of the American symbols in a flag retirement ceremony. Photographer Aurelio José Barrera, who has photographed several Chicano vets who belong to the post, was on hand for the ceremony at Cesar Chavez Avenue. After being neatly folded by Los Angeles County Fire Department Explorers, the flags were tossed into a fire.

“This is only the second time the post did one since it opened,” Barrera said. “Some of the people got emotional and teared up a bit.”

Photos by Aurelio José Barrera

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