Eagle Scout candidate Daniel Cohen, 17, of Ventnor and VFW Post 215 Commander Roger Emmick put the first tattered American flag in the drop box Cohen made and installed at the rear of the Post home, 601 N. Dorset Ave.


VENTNOR – An Atlantic City High School senior working toward obtaining Eagle Scout rank finished his project to provide Downbeach residents with a convenient way to dispose of torn, tatterd and faded American flags.

Daniel Cohen, 17, of Ventnor, developed his Eagle Scout project with the help of the Greater Absecon Island VFW Post 215, located at 601 N. Dorset Ave. The post is regrouping, and younger members will soon be taking over for retiring veterans.

“The American flag is an important symbol of our country and it should be treated with respect and retired in the proper manner,” said Cohen, who is a member of Troop 55 of Somers Point.

VFW Post 215 Commander Roger Emmick said Cohen contacted him about the project, which would include building two American flag drop off boxes – a stationary outdoor one at the Post home, and a second on wheels at the Atlantic County Library/Ventnor that can be wheeled indoors or out.

“People were sticking worn flags in our mailbox and in bags tied around the doorknobs,” Emmick said. “They need to be burned during a solemn ceremony, but we were having a hard time trying to find a place to do it.”

Emmick said local fire codes prohibit open fires in the city. Every so often, the Ventnor City Fire Department brings a contractor’s trash bag to the VFW Post to gather the flags collected over the year, and a veteran member of the Fire Department brings them to the Poconos for a flag burning ceremony.

“Sometimes we fill two bags,” Emmick said.

Cohen said he conducted some research online and found several variations of flag drop off boxes before working with family friend Ross Beckman to refine the design.

“We made them in two stages,” Cohen said. “The first stage was the make the boxes out of plywood, and the second stage was painting the boxes.”

He enlisted the help of eight of his fellow Boy Scouts and two troop leaders to get them assembled and painted.

A red, white and blue drop box was installed at the rear of the Post home on Sunday afternoon. The box is anchored to the ground so it doesn’t blow over in a storm or windy weather. It is easily accessible from the parking lot on the corner of Fulton and Dudley avenues.

Old flags can be burned or buried at home, but most people take them to veterans’ organizations so they can be retired under a protocol that provides respect and a little pomp and circumstance. Ceremonies, which include reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, are conducted across America on Flag Day, which is always on June 14.

Cohen, who has been a Scout since he was 8, said he has one more Merit Badge to complete before he is eligible to receive the coveted Eagle Scout badge. He is investigating ways he can obtain the Citizenship in Society badge before May, when the Eagle Scout badge ceremony will be held.

Cohen said he plans to attend The College of New Jersey in September where he will study finance. He is interested in following the footsteps of his parents and grandparents who are involved in helping others plan for their own retirements.

He said his career path could include being a stock broker, real estate investment broker, or a hedge fund manager.

For more information on how to property fly the American flag, see https://www.usa.gov/flag

Check out this video about property flag disposal.









Copyright Mediawize, LLC 2023

Advertise with us





Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.