Governor Cuomo Announces Statewide Collection Of Worn American Flags For Proper Disposal

Collected Flags Will Be Disposed of as Part of Memorial Watchfire; Flags Will Be Accepted Through May 23.

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Long Island, NY - May 8, 2018 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Office of General Services will collect worn and tattered flags at locations statewide so that they can be properly retired. The collected flags will be disposed of as part of the Memorial Watchfire hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 103, on Sunday, May 27th, 2018 at the New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, NY. Information on the Watchfire can be found here.
"American flags should be retired with respect and honor and this collection program provides New Yorkers with a simple way to accomplish this," Governor Cuomo said. "The Watchfire offers a valuable community service and brings people together to observe the Memorial Day holiday."
The Office of General Services has set up drop-off locations across the state for businesses and individuals to bring their flags. All flags collected will be properly folded prior to disposal. The drop-off locations will be collecting donations from Tuesday, May 8 through Wednesday, May 23.
Bill Martin, Watchfire Committee Chair, said, "We appreciate New York State's efforts to collect these flags to ensure they are properly retired with dignity at the Watchfire."
Joel Evans, Executive Deputy Director of the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs said, "All men and women who served, stood and took an oath to protect the principles and tenets of democracy, liberty and freedom that are embodied by the American flag. The collection of these worn flags to be appropriately retired with proper care and respect is a testament to Governor Cuomo's and New York State Office of General Services dedication to honoring these esteemed symbols of our nation."
OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, "As the home of the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Program established by Governor Cuomo, the Office of General Services is honored to collect worn and tattered American flags and help citizens properly dispose of them."
Senator William Larkin said, "As a veteran, I can appreciate the sacrifice that the men and women who serve this country put forth to ensure our protection and our freedom. Though a simple gesture, the Watchfire serves to honor those we have lost and reminds us of what it is our armed forces fight for each and every day."
Assemblymember Michael G. DenDekker, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said, "Having dedicated much of my life and career to defending our nation's freedom, the Watchfire is an act of respect and honor that is deeply meaningful to me. Retiring these flags allows us to take a moment to reflect on what it represents to each of us personally and memorialize the brave men and women who have fought, and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country."
The drop-off locations are as follows:
  • Alfred E. Smith Building, 80 South Swan St., Albany
  • New York State Capitol, Washington Avenue, Albany
  • Empire State Plaza Main Concourse, Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Agency Buildings 1,2,3,4 - Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Legislative Office Building Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Swan Street Building, Core 2 and Core 3, Empire State Plaza, Albany
  • Harriman Campus Buildings 5, 6, 7, 7A, 8, 12 Harriman Campus, 1220 Washington Ave., Albany
  • Ten Eyck Building, 40 North Pearl St., Albany
  • 50 Wolf Road, Albany
  • 625 Broadway, Albany
  • Hampton Plaza, 38-40 State St., Albany
  • 44 Holland Ave., Albany
  • 328 State St., Schenectady
  • Senator John J. Hughes State Office Building, 333 E. Washington St., Syracuse
  • New York State Fairgrounds (Gate 2 Security Station), 581 State Fair Boulevard, Syracuse
  • Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St., Watertown
  • Utica State Office Building, 207 Genesee St., Utica
  • Homer Folks Facility, 28 Hill Street, Suite 327, Oneonta
  • Eleanor Roosevelt State Office Building, 4 Burnett Blvd., Poughkeepsie
  • Henderson-Smith State Office Building, 107 Broadway, Hornell
  • Binghamton State Office Building, 44 Hawley St., Binghamton
  • NYSP Troop E Zone 1 Station, 1155 Scottsville Road, Rochester
  • Senator Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building, 65 Court St., Buffalo
  • Perry B. Duryea State Office Building, 250 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge
  • Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building, 163 West 125th St., New York City
  • Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building, 55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn
Visit the Division of Service-Disabled Veterans' Business Development webpage here.