A new, 10 x 19 -foot American Flag flies in front of The Center for American and International Law (CAIL) on Democracy Drive in Plano thanks to Plano Boy Scout Troop 259. Twenty members of the troop conducted a ceremony on April 19 to lower and retire a weather-beaten flag and hoist the new one.
Sixth-grader Shawn Nee played taps on the bugle while several of his fellow troop members, chartered out of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, lowered a flag that was damaged in recent rainstorms. Then several other scouts attached the new flag to the flagpole and began to raise it as the scouts and a group of about 50 onlookers - CAIL employees and law enforcement officials who are taking courses there - recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
As is the custom to retire an American flag no longer in service, scout Hayden Stone cut the flag into three pieces with help from his fellow scouts, keeping the blue section with its 50 stars intact. The scouts will finalize the retirement of the flag during their campfire program at a camp out on May 5.
“Participation in this event fits with our mission to serve our community,” says Scoutmaster Scott O’Mary. “The young men enjoyed conducting the ceremony, and it was a learning experience, especially for those who had not participated in a flag retirement before.” In its 45th year, Troop 259 serves young men age 11-17 from Plano and the surrounding area.
After the ceremony, CAIL’s Interim President Mark Smith thanked the scouts and took them on a tour of CAIL’s lobby, which houses flags from 132 nations. Those flags represent the center’s international reach to improve the quality of justice throughout the U.S. and the world by providing continuing education for lawyers and law enforcement personnel. In fiscal year 2018, more than 5,800 people from 53 different countries and 42 U.S. states participated in CAIL’s educational programs and conferences.