Chamblee High School graduate Jack Dillon started planning his final Eagle Scout project as the pandemic hit the state, so he knew he needed a construction project that wouldn’t need too many hands.

That’s when the 17-year-old came up with the idea to create a drop box for old or tattered American flags, which is now located at the Dunwoody Nature Center at 5343 Roberts Drive.

“I thought about how I could do a construction-based project without a lot of people,” Dillon said. “We were able to manage it while social distancing and wearing masks.”

Chamblee High School graduate Jack Dillon poses next to his American flag drop box with Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch at the Dunwoody Nature Center. (Courtesy Jack Dillon)

The red drop box has a mail slot for people to put in old or tattered flags with a sign “US Flags Only” on the front. The top is painted blue and white.

The flags in the dropbox will be respectfully retired by local Boy Scout Troops, Dillon said, including his troop, 477. Scouts will conduct a retirement ceremony for the flags in accordance with the U.S. Code, which includes folding the flag into a fire, reciting the national anthem or Pledge of Allegiance and then silently watching the flag burn completely to ashes.

Dillon said it took about 85 hours of work, which includes the planning and designing process. With the help of eight others, including school friends and fellow Boy Scouts who would help at different intervals, Dillon completed the project.

“I’ve done some minor woodworking things, but this is definitely the most difficult construction project I’ve done,” Dillon said. “I’m happy with the outcome.”

One of Dillon’s neighbors has brought him a few flags to put in the box, but he hopes he can spread the word about the drop box so others can use it at its new home at the nature center.

This project completes Dillon’s time in the Boy Scouts, an organization he has been a part of almost his whole life, he said. Now, the graduate is moving on to attend the University of Georgia in the fall.

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