BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Flag day marks the third year Greenlawn Funeral Homes partners with the city to take in old and damaged flags.

Flag day is a day where you can respectfully retire your old and damaged flags. At Greenlawn Funeral Homes Southwest they hosted a ceremony where more than 1,500 flags were retired.

Flags represent more than just the country’s colors. It represents the lives that have been laid down to protect our freedom.

But what do you do when a flag gets damaged or just gets old?

“When a flag gets to where its no longer can be flown respectably because of the condition its in,” James LaMar the CEO of Greenlawn Funeral Homes Cemeteries and Cremations said. “A lot of people often don’t know how to retire the flag. What’s the proper way? It’s by flame. So for the last three years we’ve been partnering with the community and helping them retire those flags to our crematorium.”

Greenlawn received about 2,000 flags last year, and this year they got another 1,700. The flags were respectfully laid to rest at the crematorium, in front of an audience during the end of the ceremony.

“It means a lot to me. I served with some very fine young men,” John Gonzales adult staff for Bakersfield Young Marines said.

The Bakersfield Young Marines assisted with the event. They paid honor to the flags as well as helped transport them from the viewing area to their resting place.

“That’s what we teach them, is to love this country,” Gonzales said. “Love what it stands for. Hopefully, they are the future.”

The event had a second celebration: the Army’s Birthday, and they cut the cake with a saber.

“We live in a great country and on our worst day is better than most,” LaMar said. “So to honor our country, our fellow citizens and our flag above and beyond that’s what keeps us safe and makes a difference.”

If you still have some old or damaged flags and you missed this year’s event you can turn them in next year.