Ed Shevlin, 57, said he started rescuing the flags he found in the trash about a year ago.
“The flag deserves more than a place in the hopper of the sanitation truck,” he said.
“Right now in my car there’s a little over 700 flags,” he said. “The flags get burned in a very respectful ceremony.”
“So many people have died for this flag. So many people have been willing to give their lives for this flag,” he added. “That stands for so much more than any other symbol we have in this country.”
The flags were set to be disposed of in a respectful ceremony at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point. Shevlin was to be presented with a special commendation for his efforts at the ceremony.