NY Garbage Man Rescues American Flags From The Trash

Ed Shevlin, 53, has rescued over 700 U.S. flags from the trash in order to give them a more dignified send-off.

NY Garbage Man Rescues American Flags From The Trash
Newsday / Barry Sloan

One remarkably patriotic sanitation worker in New York is going above and beyond the call of duty to preserve the honor of Old Glory.

53-year-old Ed Shevlin has been collecting the American flags he finds thrown away in the trash, rescuing them from the dump in order to give them a proper disposal later. (Via  WLNY)

So far Shevlin has collected over 700 flags, many of which were destroyed during Superstorm Sandy. Shevlin told New York Daily News he wants the flags to have a more dignified send-off than the back of a garbage truck. (Via WCBS)

"I view them as an entity that has served the country. … Let’s give it the honor that should be accorded to it."

And Shevlin's got the law on his side. Title 4 of the U.S. Code requires a dilapidated flag to "be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." (Via Cornell University Law School)

Newsday reports Shevlin's flags were destroyed Saturday in a formal ceremony at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Shevlin received a special commendation at the ceremony.