FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/04/2012
Callegari Brings Capitol Flags to Katy for Retirement
KATY, TX. Visitors to the Texas Capitol Building in Austin frequently see the American and Texas flags flying above the main entrance. These flags remain aloft 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Over time, the constant exposure to the central Texas wind and occasional rainstorm begins to wear and tear the fabric of these venerable symbols of our nation and state.
On March 2nd, Texas Independence Day , the flags above the Capitol's public entrance were struck and replaced with new standards. Faded and torn, the flags were removed by a detail of state troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"When I heard that the flags that had been flying above the Capitol on the dawn of Texas Independence Day had been replaced, I wanted to bring them back to the Katy area for a dignified retirement," said State Representative Bill Callegari. "Within hours of making a formal request to Captain of the Texas Capitol Division of the Department of Public Safety, I was honored to be entrusted to find a suitable organization for this civic service."
Texas law requires that when a state flag is no longer used or useful as an emblem for display, it should be destroyed, preferable by burning, in a ceremony or other dignified way that that emphasizes its honor as a fitting emblem for this state. A retirement ceremony should be conducted with the honor and respect inherent in the traditions of Texas and the United States, and may be conducted by uniformed personnel representing a state or national military service or a patriotic society.
In meeting with these requirements, Representative Callegari contacted local scouting executive Mr. Stan Stanley to request that a Katy-area Boy Scout Troop perform the service of retiring the flags in an appropriate ceremony. Mr. Stanley found Troop 1103 to do the job.
"To my knowledge, this is the first time the US and Texas flags that flew above the Texas Capitol have been brought to Katy for an honorable retirement," said Representative Callegari. "I am proud and grateful for the fact that there are plenty of civic organizations in our area like the Boy Scouts who can perform this service for our state and country."
Troop 1103 retired the flags in a ceremony held at the Texas Skies District Camporee this past weekend. The Texas Skies District is a part of the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The District consists of troops from the Katy and Royal (Brookshire) school districts.
Mr. Stan Stanley, a scouting commissioner for the Texas Skies District, commented on the ceremony, "Representative Callegari, recognizing the importance of learning the proper respect for retirement of both American and Texas flags, offered these symbols of freedom flown over the Texas Capitol on Texas Independence day to be retired with dignity. This was accomplished last week-end at Camp Brosig, near Sealy Texas, with over 550 Scouts and leaders at the Texas Skies District Camporee witnessing this moving tribute to our nation and state."
Commissioner Stanley continued, "Troop 1103, who meets at Cross Creek Ranch was charged with the responsibility of carrying out this assignment and were honored by this mission. Many youth at the Camporee expressed their gratitude for learning the proper protocol for retirement of these important symbols of our State and Nation. We are grateful to Representative Callegari for supplying these symbolic items to be honorably retired in the Katy area."
In addition to requesting the flags flown above the Texas Capitol on Texas Independence Day, Representative Callegari has requested that other, ceremonial flags be flown over the Capitol Building to commemorate the opening of local schools, honor fallen members of the armed services, and to recognize individuals for their special contributions to the Katy community.
Representative Callegari has represented Katy and the west Harris County area in the Texas House of Representatives since his election in year 2000.