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Patriotic scouts fold their last flag at Palisades Elementary

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Tom Viggiano, left, and Michael Easley take down the Oregon and American flags at Palisades Elementary School.

In his first year of cub scouting, Michael Easley learned what the colors and symbols on the American flag meant and how to respectfully fold it.

He passed the lesson on to his best friend, Tom Viggiano. Soon, it turned into something they both took to heart.

When they learned there was no routine in bringing in the flags each day at Palisades Elementary School, they asked former Principal Liz Wassom if they could do it.

'Its not just about taking down the flag,' Easley explained. 'It's respecting all of the people who had died for our country and everyone who lives in the United States.'

So, each afternoon for the past three years, the boys have carefully lowered the Oregon and American flags after school lets out.

Then, they fold the American flag in the Uniformed Services custom, in which the flag is folded into the shape of a tri-colored hat, an emblem of the hats worn by colonial soldiers during the War for Independence.

During the folding, the stripes are wrapped into the blue, symbolizing the light of day vanishing into the night. This is typically done to honor the flag during special events, such as Memorial Day or veteran funerals.

The boys are careful to make sure the American flag doesn't touch the ground - they wouldn't want to have a flag burned on their account.

Now sixth graders moving on to Waluga Junior High School, the boys hope to continue the tradition at their new school.

And Easley, now a boy scout with Lake Oswego Troop 127, said he hopes to recruit younger students at Palisades to assume the special role they're leaving behind.

For more information on how an American flag should be folded, visit www.usflag.org/fold

flag.html.