When I heard that Stadium of Fire was going to feature one, it almost made me want to attend. Yes, just for that moment.
So, imagine my shock that the ceremony was a fake.
Fifty thousand people stood in silence Saturday night as men in uniform brought a giant American flag into LaVell Edwards Stadium to be retired by incineration.
Or so the Stadium of Fire crowd thought.
In actuality, the 155-by-90-foot flag was not burned that night due to the toxins a nylon flag that size would have emitted, Provo Fire Marshal Lynn Schofield said.
"It would have been impractical to burn it in the stadium," Schofield said. "There is just no way you can burn that kind of a flag in that big of a group of people safely."
Event organizers originally planned for the no-longer-serviceable flag to be burned. But after talking to the fire marshal a few months ago, Stadium of Fire executive producer Brad Pelo said organizers realized that would not be possible in any type of container. After discussing other ways they could retire the flag, organizers did what they thought was most appropriate, Pelo said.
During the ceremony, the flag was put into a large, cauldron-like container, then flames appeared on its top. Many people teared up, including event emcee Glenn Beck, who emphasized to the audience what a special ceremony they were witnessing.
Last I checked, dishonesty was a violation of the honor code.*
*Other lines I wanted to use there:
"False Patriotism -- the GOP Way"
"A Retirement Ceremony approved by Orrin Hatch, Maybe"
"Special -- in a short bus kind of way."