144-9. Retirement of a flag of the United States of America or the State of North Carolina.

(a) A State institution or a political subdivision of the State in possession of a flag of the United States of America or the State of North Carolina that is no longer a fitting emblem for display because it is worn, tattered, or otherwise damaged shall make arrangements for its respectful disposal and may deliver the flag to the Division of Veterans Affairs in the Department of Administration for disposal. The Division shall accept a flag delivered to it and shall make arrangements for its respectful disposal.

(b) The Division of Veterans Affairs shall accept, at no charge, a worn, tattered, or otherwise damaged flag of the United States of America or the State of North Carolina from a citizen of the State and shall make arrangements for its respectful disposal. The Division shall establish a flag retirement program to encourage citizens to send in or drop off such flags at the Division's office in Raleigh and at any Veterans Home or Veterans Cemetery in the State and may establish other locations for flag drop-off as it deems appropriate. The Division shall advertise the flag retirement program on its Web site and by printed posters placed at all flag drop-off locations. On or before December 31, 2016, and annually thereafter, the Division shall report the number of flags received under the program to the Joint Legislative Committee on Governmental Operations.

(c) An official flag of the State that is no longer a fitting emblem for display because it is worn, tattered, or otherwise damaged may be respectfully retired by fire. (2010-189, s. 1; 2015-170, s. 2(b).)