May 16, 2023

NYS Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy Announces Statewide Collection of Worn American Flags for Proper Disposal

NYS Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy Announces Statewide Collection of Worn American Flags for Proper Disposal
Flags Will Be Accepted at Drop Off Locations in New York State Through Friday, May 26

New York State Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner Jeanette Moy today announced that OGS will today start collecting 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 CNY Veterans Recognition Foundation, with the continuing participation of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 103 on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Information on the Watchfire can be found here.

“With the return of the Memorial Watchfire to the New York State Fairgrounds, OGS is honored to resume its role supporting a Memorial Day weekend observance that honors our fallen veterans with a military tradition dating back to our country’s founding,” Commissioner Jeanette Moy said, “We are grateful to the veteran organizations that are hosting and participating in the Watchfire for providing New Yorkers with a way to properly retire their worn American flags.”

OGS has set up drop-off locations across the state for businesses and individuals to bring their flags. The drop-off locations will be collecting donations from Tuesday, May 16, through Friday, May 26.

New York State Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner Viviana DeCohen said, “The statewide collection of worn and tattered flags marks a profound moment of reverence and respect for our nation’s symbols. As Commissioner of the Department of Veterans’ Services, I am deeply grateful for the Office of General Services’ initiative to ensure the proper retirement of these flags. I encourage businesses and individuals across the state to participate in this noble cause by bringing their flags to the designated drop-off locations. Together, let us honor the sacrifices made by our servicemembers and reaffirm our commitment to their legacy of bravery and valor.”

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The solemn tradition of the Watchfire can be traced back to the Revolutionary War, where a large fire would be started after a long battle or march to help light the way for missing troops to rejoin their groups. Today, Watchfires symbolically light the way home for servicemembers who died or are missing in action. We look forward to the return of the Memorial Day Watchfire at the Great New York State Fairgrounds this month, which is especially meaningful to veterans and their families. By donating your tattered or retired flag, you are playing a part in honoring the sacrifices of these brave individuals. Thank you for helping us honor them.” 

State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton said, “As Chair of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, and wife of a United States Army combat veteran, I commend the Governor for implementing this statewide proposal for collecting our worn American Flags for disposal. As a strong symbol of the beliefs and values of our country, proper flag disposal is a very important and honorary event because it allows the no-longer-in-use flags to be retired in a way that honors our country and what it believes in. Therefore, I call on all New York residents to join us in this statewide effort.”

Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre said, “As the symbol of our nation’s unity and values, the American flag deserves the utmost respect at all times, including when it becomes tattered, worn, or damaged. I invite citizens across the state to join us in respecting and preserving our country and applaud Governor Hochul for ensuring that worn-out flags are retired with dignity.”

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
  • 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