Does Ace Hardware take old American flags? - Resto NYC (2024)

Ace Hardware is a popular hardware store chain with locations across the United States. Many customers wonder if Ace Hardware accepts old and worn American flags for proper disposal. The American flag is a beloved symbol of our nation that deserves respectful treatment, especially at the end of its usable life. Proper flag disposal involves ceremonial burning or shredding so the flag is no longer recognizable as an American flag. This ensures the dignity of the symbol is upheld.

In the opening section, we’ll provide quick answers to key questions about donating old flags to Ace Hardware. We’ll also outline the reasons why properly disposing of worn American flags is important.

Table of Contents

Quick Answers

– Does Ace Hardware accept old American flags? Yes, most Ace Hardware locations accept old and worn American flags for disposal through their partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

– How can I donate my old flag to Ace Hardware? Simply bring the worn flag to your local Ace Hardware store. The staff will ensure it is disposed of properly and respectfully through their partnership with VFW.

– Does it cost anything? No, there is no cost to donate your old American flag for disposal at Ace Hardware. They provide this service free of charge.

– Are there any requirements for the condition of donated flags? Yes, donated flags should be torn, tattered, faded or otherwise no longer in presentable condition. Flags that could still be displayed should be donated elsewhere.

Why Proper Disposal Matters

The American flag is a treasured symbol of our shared national identity and values. When an American flag becomes too worn out for display, it deserves to be handled and disposed of respectfully. Proper disposal upholds the dignity of the flag as a representation of our nation.

The recommended method for disposal is ceremonial burning. This ensures no part of the flag remains intact or recognizable afterwards. Other acceptable disposal methods include shredding or burying. The key is preventing the flag’s further use or display after retirement.

By providing free and proper disposal of old American flags, Ace Hardware and the VFW allow the public to retire these meaningful symbols respectfully. Donating a worn flag is a small act that upholds the ideals of patriotism and respect.

Does Ace Hardware Offer Flag Disposal Nationwide?

Yes, Ace Hardware stores across the United States offer free American flag disposal as a standard service. This provides convenient and respectful flag retirement options for communities nationwide.

The flag disposal service is handled through Ace Hardware’s partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Ace stores collect worn American flags from customers then work with local VFW posts to dispose of them properly.

This partnership has been in place since 2019 when Ace Hardware announced the collaboration. The company committed to providing flag collection boxes and coordinating pickups with VFW posts. This system remains in place today as the standard process.

Some important notes on Ace’s flag disposal program:

– It is offered at all of Ace’s approximately 5,000 locations in the United States. Availability at international Ace stores may vary.

– Participation is voluntary for VFW posts. Local posts work directly with their area Ace stores regarding pickups and drop-offs.

– The free service is available year-round, not just around Flag Day in June. Customers can donate flags for disposal at any time.

So no matter where you live in the U.S., you can trust your neighborhood Ace Hardware to responsibly dispose of worn American flags in collaboration with VFW. It’s a service that covers the entire country.

How Ace Hardware’s Flag Disposal Service Works

Ace Hardware has set up a smooth, efficient system for collecting and disposing of American flags through their partnership with the VFW. Here are the step-by-step logistics:

1. Customers bring worn and damaged American flags to their local Ace Hardware store. Look for collection boxes, often located near the entrance.

2. Ace Hardware associates collect these donated flags in boxes provided by the VFW.

3. When the collection boxes are full, Ace contacts their partnering local VFW post to coordinate a pickup.

4. VFW volunteers pick up the boxes of worn flags from the Ace Hardware location.

5. The VFW post carries out proper disposal through burning or burial ceremonies.

6. Ace Hardware receives certificates from the VFW documenting the proper disposal.

This streamlined system allows for convenient community flag collection at Ace stores coupled with VFW’s expert flag retirement services. It’s a win-win that respects the dignity of the American flag.

Are There Other Flag Disposal Options Besides Ace Hardware?

Yes, while Ace Hardware provides a convenient nationwide option, there are other ways to properly dispose of worn American flags if you prefer. Here are a few additional routes for retiring damaged or faded flags:

Local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post

Many VFW posts, even those not partnered directly with Ace Hardware, offer flag collection boxes and retirement ceremonies. Contact your local post to see if they can accept your old flag. This allows them to retire it through their traditional methods.

American Legion Posts

Similar to VFW, American Legion outposts commonly provide flag disposal services. They use dignified burning ceremonies on flag holidays like Flag Day. Check with your nearby American Legion post to see if they accept community flag donations.

Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops

Scouting groups often carry out flag retirement ceremonies to teach youth about respectful flag disposal. Consider donating your worn flag to a local Scouts chapter for their ceremonial burning. Call ahead to ask if they need any retired flags.

Some City or County Government Buildings

Check if your local city hall, municipal center, fire station or other government building accepts worn flags for retirement. Some periodically hold flag disposal ceremonies for donated community flags.

Some Military Bases and National Cemeteries

Call ahead to see if any military bases or national cemeteries in your region accept public flag donations for inclusion in their retirement ceremonies. Limited public participation may be allowed.

So if your local Ace Hardware option doesn’t work for you, look into these alternate places for proper flag disposal. Any of them will appropriately honor a worn flag’s legacy.

Proper Flag Disposal Etiquette

When handling retirement of an American flag, certain etiquette guidelines should be followed to show respect. Here are some key flag disposal dos and don’ts:


Do fold the flag neatly and ceremonially before disposal.

Do allow the flag to burn completely if disposing of it by fire.

Do place retirement boxes appropriately inside buildings, not haphazardly outside.

Do dispose of torn or soiled flags promptly and properly.

Do gather flags by the stars first if folding is difficult.


Don’t fly a damaged or tattered flag on a flagpole.

Don’t throw away flags with regular garbage or recycling.

Don’t use flags for curtains, blankets, clothing or any unconventional purposes.

Don’t allow the flag to touch the ground before disposal.

Don’t burn plastic or nylon flags, as they release hazardous chemicals. Cut them up instead.

Following basic flag etiquette shows respect for the symbol and its meaning. Ace Hardware and the VFW consider these guidelines when handling old flags.

Can Any Flag Be Donated for Disposal?

Ace Hardware collects worn and damaged American flags for disposal. Other types of flags generally aren’t accepted. Some considerations:

U.S. state flags – These flags should also receive dignified disposal when damaged. However, Ace Hardware focuses specifically on proper disposal of American flags. State flags would need to be retired elsewhere.

Military branch flags – Flags representing military branches are often treated similarly to the American flag. But again, Ace only disposes of U.S. flags through their VFW partnership. Military branches have their own specific disposal methods.

Historic flags – Very old or rare American flags are better preserved intact through museum collections or archives. Damaged historic flags can be repaired rather than retired.

Foreign national flags – Flags of other countries aren’t commonly displayed in the U.S. Regardless, disposal of foreign flags should follow that nation’s customs.

Sports team/company flags – These types of flags and banners can be thrown away once damaged or faded. They lack the inherent symbolism of American flags.

So if you need to retire a worn American flag, Ace Hardware is ready to assist. But other flags should be handled separately based on their own significance and traditions.

Are There Other Recycling Programs at Ace Hardware?

In addition to flag disposal, Ace Hardware participates in some other recycling initiatives:

Plastic bag recycling – Many Ace locations collect used plastic shopping bags for recycling, partnering with Trex Company. Drop off clean bags at participating stores.

Rechargeable battery recycling – Some Ace stores accept dead rechargeable batteries of various types for recycling. Look for dedicated collection boxes.

CFL lightbulb recycling – Ace helps recycle burned out compact fluorescent lightbulbs, which contain mercury. Bring bulbs to participating stores.

Power tool battery/charger recycling – Batteries and chargers for power tools, often containing lithium, can be recycled. Ask your local store for details.

Cardboard recycling – Ace recycles large volumes of cardboard packaging from stocking inventory. This cardboard doesn’t require public recycling.

Ace Rewards ink recycling – Ink and toner cartridges can be traded in for Ace Rewards points at participating stores.

So check with your neighborhood Ace store to see which recycling programs they currently offer. Recycling participation varies location to location. But it demonstrates Ace’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

Does Lowe’s Offer Flag Disposal?

Lowe’s is Ace Hardware’s major competitor in the home improvement retail sector. Many wonder if Lowe’s also provides American flag disposal services. Here are the key facts on Lowe’s flag collection and retirement procedures:

– Lowe’s stores do not directly accept old American flags from customers for disposal. They have no flag retirement program.

– However, some individual Lowe’s locations have helped facilitate community flag disposal ceremonies on request. Store management can choose to participate.

– These are one-time events, not an ongoing program. Lowe’s has no established national partnership with VFW or other veterans’ groups for flag disposal.

– Customers must find other options, such as local VFW posts, to properly retire unserviceable flags. Lowe’s does not serve as a flag disposal resource.

– Lowe’s focuses sustainability programs on recycling plastic bags, rechargeable batteries, CFL bulbs, and other typical household items. They have no flag-specific initiatives.

So while Lowe’s management may cooperate with community groups on select flag retirement events, they do not have an institutional system for collecting and disposing of unserviceable American flags. Ace Hardware remains a better option for the public to easily donate old flags year-round through its VFW partnership.

Does Home Depot Offer Flag Disposal?

Home Depot is another major home improvement chain that competes with Ace Hardware in many markets. Do Home Depot stores accept worn American flags for retirement? Here are the key facts on Home Depot’s policies:

– Like Lowe’s, Home Depot lacks any ongoing national program for collecting and disposing of old flags. No flag boxes or mail-in options are provided.

– Some individual Home Depot stores have collaborated with Scout troops or veterans’ groups to hold community flag retirement ceremonies on site. But these are one-time events, not regular services.

– Home Depot focuses their environmental programs on recycling more common household items like batteries, bulbs, bags, etc. There are no special efforts centered around flag disposal.

– Home Depot does sell various sizes of American flags, state flags, and military branch flags. But they do not advertise options for disposing of these once worn out.

– Customers looking for end-of-life flag disposal must seek other alternatives such as VFW posts, American Legion, Boy Scouts, etc. Home Depot does not market themselves as a flag disposal resource.

So similar to Lowe’s, Home Depot has no established national system for collecting and properly retiring worn American flags. Only local Ace Hardware stores provide this service through their robust VFW partnership.


Properly disposing of damaged and worn American flags is important to show respect for their symbolism. Ace Hardware provides a convenient free option through their national partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Customers can donate old unserviceable flags at any of Ace’s 5,000+ U.S. stores year-round.

Local VFW posts work with each Ace location for collecting and properly destroying the flags through burning or burial. This sustainable partnership since 2019 offers the public an easy, dignified way to retire beloved but faded flags. Other disposal options do exist, such as contacting veterans’ groups directly. But Ace Hardware’s flag collection program remains the most systematic and accessible nationwide solution.

RetailerAccepts Old Flags for Disposal?
Ace HardwareYes, all locations through VFW partnership
Lowe’sNo, select one-time events only
Home DepotNo, select one-time events only

Proper disposal upholds the symbolic dignity of the American flag. By providing this service, Ace Hardware shows leadership in sustainability and respect for the flag. Their system offers a go-to solution for communities nationwide.

Does Ace Hardware take old American flags? - Resto NYC (2024)
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