Scout takes on flag retirement project

RaeLynn Ricarte
Staff Writer

Chance Lafley, who just turned 18, decided to get a bin in place for community members to retire flags and it has already been filled since being installed outside the Stevens County Courthouse a month ago.
“I thought this would be a good place for people to put them,” he said.
Lafley, who has been in the Cub and Boy Scouts for a total of 11 years, made construction and of the bin his Eagle Scout project, which is supposed to benefit the community.
He is a member of Troop 921 in Colville and undertook the project after learning that local residents were dropping old and frayed flags off at Scoutmaster Chris Montgomery's legal office.
Montgomery said a formal disposal ceremony, which is the proper way to get rid of a flag, takes place every year following the Veterans Day ceremony at the courthouse.
“We fold them and store them in our warehouse until its time for a proper Flag Retirement Ceremony and then we take them to a fire pit on the east side of Yep Kanum Park and unfurl them, salute them, and lay them over the coals.
“We treat them with respect and dignity,” said Montgomery.
An Eagle Scout project has to benefit the community and involve planning and development.
Lafley enlisted the help of Chris Armchambeau, one of the leaders and a welder at Colmac Coil Manufacturing, for the project. Colmac donated the materials that Armchambeau then welded together and painted. Lafley then asked for help from the Colville High School Engraving Class, which made the sign mounted on the front of the bin.
The county commission approved placement of the drop box on the west side of the courthouse.
Montgomery said it appears the container will be filled regularly by residents who want to get rid of unusable flags.
He said the flags will be retrieved weekly to ensure there is ample room available to community members.