Hundreds of American flags were recently retired by the American Legion District 13 in a fiery ceremony in the South Bay.
The flags previously flew over schools, homes and civic centers.
"The flag is duty, honor, country," said Randy Richmond, a chaplain for the American Legion.
The legion holds special retirement ceremonies for any local American flag at the end of its service.
"it's an emblem of our country and it should be respected as such," said James McMann, the legion's second vice commander. "The American flag should never touch the ground. It should always be held up high with respect. Never used as a decoration, like a bandanna, not really worn as a shirt."
The retired flags are laid to rest by a burning ceremony.
"The only way to properly dispose an American flag is by burning," McMann said Monday during a ceremony at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose. "There's a lot of people who served under the flag, and it's a very important job and I’m prideful in that we can respect the flag and the people who served under it."