The Texas STARs Project is taking on steam in the U.S. Many B.P.O. Elks Lodges together with American Legion Posts, Rainbow Girls and Boy Scouts across the country are now involved with the project in collecting 3′ by 5′ U. S. flags that are to be retired, removing the embroidered stars and placing them into plastic bags with the wallet-sized explanation:
“I am a part of our American Flag. I have flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly. The Sun and Winds have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that you are not forgotten.”
We currently hand these out to troops in uniform and men and women that can be recognized as veterans with a handshake and the words, “Thank you for your service to our country.” We currently give these to deploying troops, Troops already overseas, Veterans, Veterans Hospitals and Homeless Veterans.
All individuals and organizations are welcome to join with us. It’s a community effort and a wonderful act of gratitude to our troops and Veterans. We’re getting one more patriotic use out of the red, white and blue and also instilling Americanism and Patriotism into our young people.
Karl Reich of the Temple Elks Lodge in Temple, Texas is currently coordinating the project. “I always carry these stars with me for chance encounters with Troops and Veterans”, he said. Reich emphasized that he has searched internet sites to learn how to properly dispose of U.S. flags and learned that the blue fields and stars may be cut away and the stripes returned to an Elk’s Lodge, an American Legion Post or your local Boy Scout Troop for the proper ceremonial retirement. “I wanted to make sure we weren’t desecrating the flag,” he said. “The flag will be treated with respect at all times.” You may click on the title ‘Flag Desecration’ to get the ruling from the US Supreme Court which holds there is no crime in cutting, burning or otherwise treating our Flag. That being said I don’t believe what we do is a desecration of our flag, we are simply putting the Stars to another patriotic use.
We are in need of volunteers to prepare and distribute the stars to our Troops and Veterans. For more information please contact Karl Reich at 512-581-1827 or