The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) teamed up with Boy Scout Troop 45 Saturday morning to retire old and damaged flags in Van Buren.
"There are some of us that spent a lot of time honoring this flag. And it's just a special day. It's always a special day," said VFW State Chaplain Roy Cloud.
Ronald Pulley, who is retired from the Air Force, agreed.
"It's real special. I've lost friends...the flag's draped their coffin. And sometimes, it's just hard."
The group held a formal ceremony Saturday morning in which they prayed, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and learned why the flag is buried the way it is.
"It was real cool to learn how to fold the flag and all that stuff, and getting to hand the flag to the guy that was burning them," said Boy Scout Harold Smith.
The group burned 24 cotton American flags over two hours. They decided to burn the remaining 16 nylon flags at a later date, because they take much longer to burn.
After the fire went out, the group dug a hole and buried the charred ashes.
"That'll become hallowed ground just like a grave of someone. It's a spot that's always revered and honored," said Cloud.