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A mailbox-like disposal bin for worn American flags that are no longer fit to display is a new fixture at the Dove Library in Carlsbad, thanks to a donation from the city 's fire department.

The flags will be collected from the bin by the fire department and retired in accordance with the United States flag code, which states burning the flag as a preferred method for dignified destruction.

Carlsbad fire Capt. Skip Clark said he read about a flag drop-box service a long time ago and recently suggested the idea at a community meeting. He said the city's fire stations have been collecting flags for destruction from other city facilities for as long as he's been with the department, which is about 24 years.

"It's a system that's been in place for years,” said Clark. “I’m not sure if the general public knew about it.” Clark said the first public flag drop-off box was placed at the City of Carlsbad’s Fire Station No. 1, on Carlsbad Village Drive, about a month ago.

About 15 flags were collected within that time frame, and fire-department officials decided to relocate the box to the library on Dove Lane. Clark said that since its placement on March 12, it has received more than 30 flags.

A second collection bin is set to be housed outside of the Georgina Cole Library by the end of the month. The boxes are placed near the library drop-off boxes for drive-up access.

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