One by one, the Boy Scouts stepped forward into the light of the small camp stove, and each placed a section of the American flag in the fire, leaving it to burn.


"The 13 stripes stand for the 13 original colonies," the first scout recited, "which are Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and New Jersey."


"The white stands for purity," the second scout said, placing a white stripe in the fire.


"The red stands for courage," said the third.


Wednesday night's ceremony at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall on Hesperia Road was the third and final round of flag retirement ceremonies held by Boy Scout Troop 725 for scout John Mills Jr.'s Eagle Scout project. The project was intended to educate community members on proper disposal of the flag in a respectful and patriotic fashion.


In addition to the public ceremonies, Mills burned nearly 1,000 flags in a private ceremony at the Apple Valley Cemex cement plant.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.