FORT MYERS, Fla.-Local veterans restored glory to a tattered American flag flying along Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers. WINK News contacted the Fort Myers American Legion after a viewer sent in pictures of the unpatriotic display.
The sun and wind-damaged flag was flying on vacant property that was once the Kountry Kitchen Family Diner. Shoppers in the Morse Shores plaza were upset by the flag's condition.
"I gave six years of my life to defend this country, and something like that really disturbs me," Navy veteran Barry Smith said.
On Wednesday afternoon, commanders for the North Fort Myers and Fort Myers American Legion posts worked together, through the rain, to lower the flag down. They paused for a solemn solute, and began plans for its retirement.
"The fact that this flag is like this, it's an insult to to all veterans, and this should never be done, because too many veterans have paid the ultimate price for the sacrifice for this flag to ensure freedom for everybody, all Americans," Commander Kevin Boyd of American Legion Post 38 in Fort Myers said.
The American Legion asks residents to turn in any worn out flags, so they can coordinate retirement ceremonies. To find your local American Legion post, click here.
Some SWFL businesses are also encouraging residents to turn in flags.
Lee County residents can receive a new flag of the United States of America on Friday, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Simply bring worn, torn or tattered U.S. Flags to the following locations, and receive a new one for free, so you can fly it proudly on Flag Day, June 14.
In Cape Coral: Fuller Metz Funeral Home, 3740 Del Prado Blvd. 33904, (239) 542-3161
In Fort Myers: Harvey-Engelhardt Funeral Home, 1600 Colonial Blvd. 33907, (239) 936-2177
In Charlotte County, Charlotte State Bank & Trust will be accepting unusable flags from June 14 through July 4. Residents may bring their worn flags to any of the following locations:
-Port Charlotte office, 1100 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte
-Punta Gorda office, 2331 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda
-Midtown office, 3002 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte
-Peachland office, 24163 Peachland Blvd., Port Charlotte
-Charlotte Harbor office, 23112 Harborview Road, Charlotte Harbor
Bank lobbies are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Flags brought to bank offices will be delivered to either Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory or Kays-Ponger & Uselton Funeral Homes and Cremation Services. Both have served as collection points for retired flags for many years.