Oliver’s Funeral Home is hosting its annual Flag Day tradition of laying retired flags to rest at the Grande Prairie Cemetary.
The funeral home says the tradition started back in 2016 when it was revealed that there was no respectful way to dispose of flags that have served their time in western Canada, and Oliver’s Community Connections Coordinator Pamela Gault says the beginning of the tradition was a natural one as a funeral home.
“It used to be that you would burn it and walk away from it, and that was the way to do it respectfully,” she says. “Nowadays flags are made of a different material so if you burn it it just turns into a clump of oil because it’s synthetic.”
Flags are brought to the funeral home year-round for the occasion and include entries from British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Gault says the event comes from a place of respect for not only the flag but also the people who have fought and died on its behalf.
“It means something to people, a lot of people have fought for it too and it can mean so many things to so many people,” she says. “It’s just a really nice way to honour them, how they have honoured the flag and honoured Canada.”
The event will include stories from keynote speakers from around Grande Prairie, and the funeral home says anyone with a flag they wish to retire is welcome to come participate.