There is no "official
" way to retire
flag other than by burning. However, such a retirement
is usually accompanied by a small ceremony, almost like a funeral. Some will insist that only a cherrywood
fire is acceptable.
In my Scouting days, my troop was often called to retire flags. Usually we held the worn flag before the flames, while the Pledge of Allegiance was explained, line by line. It is certainly conceivable to conduct some simple theatrics, such as lowering the flag into the fire from a flagpole, but these obviously become dangerous.
The grommets of the flag may be fished out of the ashes. They are seen by some as a good luck charm. It is considered inappropriate to douse the fire used to burn the flag, or to use it for cooking until it has gone out.