By Michelle Williams
Beginning in the Cub Scouts at age 8, Westfield High School student Jacob Wickham has been working his way through the ranks. Having transitioned to Boy Scouts, 17-year-old Wickham serves at the level of Life Scout today. Now he’s working on his service project to achieve the status of Eagle Scout.
Wickham’s service project requires that his activity impact the community and provide leadership to others.
“With Memorial Day and Fourth of July right around the corner, I figured people will be getting a lot of new flags. A lot of people don’t know how to treat their old flags properly,” Wickham said.
His goal now is to collect and properly retire the worn, faded, frayed or stained flags from Hamilton County residents.
A private flag retiring ceremony will be held at the Westfield Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on July 4.
“There are a couple of different ways to retire a flag through the ceremony,” Wickham said. “Basically you need to have a good size fire and respectfully burn the flag, making sure it’s completely burned with nothing left that could be recognized as a flag.”
He learned the process through other Scout-related flag retiring ceremonies. His ceremony will feature a bugler and a color guard for a flag-raising ceremony prior to the retirement of old flags.
Wickham has installed a collection bin and flyer at the Westfield Public Library for donated flags, and plans to approach the Carmel Clay Public Library as well. He is also searching for retail establishments in Westfield and Carmel willing to allow collection bins. His goal is to collect 25 or more flags and to engage one dozen or more Boy Scouts to pick up donated flags for the service project.
Those interested in donating a flag or installing a collection bin may email Wickham at firstname.lastname@example.org.