THE City Government of San Fernando has disposed of old and worn out Philippine flags through a solemn burning ceremony held in front of the city hall Friday afternoon, August 30.
The ceremony was done in compliance with Republic Act 8491, or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, which states that old, worn out or torn Philippine flags shall not be thrown away but shall be solemnly burned to avoid misuse or desecration.
Local officials, headed by Mayor Edwin Santiago and Mutya Ning San Fernando 2019 Rica Gabriene David, who played the role of "Inang Bayan," and Boys and Girls Scouts of the Philippines led the final tribute to the flags.
City Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan said the City has been observing the proper disposal of Philippine flags for two years now as part of its programs on nationalism and cultural preservation.
"The city has always been an advocate in promoting the Philippine flag as the ultimate symbol of our nation and that advocacy is not limited to joining the celebration of National Flag Day and its display along our national roads, but also in observing how to properly retire them," she said.
Pangilinan also said that the City of San Fernando is the lone city in Pampanga and among the few local governments in the country that practice the activity, which also included the burying of the flags' ashes inside the city hall compound.
Pangilinan urged public and private establishments with old or worn out flags to bring them to the City Government so they can be properly retired in the next public ceremony along with those used by the City.
Santiago, for his part, said the practice of properly disposing the flags also aims to instill into the consciousness of the youth the value of the Philippine flag to the country.
He said the involvement of the youth and the Boy and Girl Scouts of Philippines in the ceremony is a way of passing to them the proper holding of the tradition.
"Our Philippine flag has been giving us the proper identity and is the symbol of our unity and sovereignty and so it must receive the respect due to it from its raising to its retreat and to its disposal," Santiago said.