Saturday, July 2, 2011

Our Grand Ole Flag

Happy 4th of July!  Happy 235th Birthday to our Independence and Freedom!  Everyone will want to be showing their  US pride and patriotism by flying the flag and displaying the flag.  BUT have you ever taken the time to properly display the flag and give it the respect that it deserves?  I can honestly thought that I really haven't.  I know sometime in Elementary school we were told about rules regarding the flag, like not letting it touch the ground, but overall I take the symbol of our nation for granted. To give it the proper respect that it deserves take some time on this holiday to review the advisories for respect regarding our flag in Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the US Code ("The Flag Code").  These are advisories set forth by the code to give the flag its proper respect but there are no penalties for not following these advisories.
The flag my parents (and grandmother before them) fly on flag holidays.
The following information is from the Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the US Code, adopted June 14, 1923 (Flag Day), amended and made public law December 22, 1942 (

  • During the playing of the National Anthem or reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance your body should face the flag with your right hand over your heart.  Men wearing hats should remove their hat, hold it in their right hand with the hat resting on their left shoulder so that their hand is still over their heart.
  • If a flag passes you in a parade you should give it the same attention as during the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Flags displayed on flagstaffs should be on display from sunrise to sunset and never during inclement weather.  If left on display during the night it should be illuminated (My employer in Texas NEVER took their flag down and NEVER turned the display lights on... it bothered me and I made a couple complaints).
  • When in procession the flag should be on the right or in front and center of other flags.
  • In a parade the flag should not be draped over or hanging from a vehicle or float but displayed on a flagstaff.
  • When displayed horizontally or vertically the Union should be on the viewer's left.
Respecting the Flag:
"No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor."
  • Never display the flag with the Union down.
  • The flag should not touch anything below it while displayed, i.e. the ground, a table, the water.
  • The flag should always be aloft and free, never carried horizontally.
  • THIS ONE IS A BIGGIE DURING THIS HOLIDAY: "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free."
  • The flag should never be mounted or displayed in a manner in which it could be torn or soiled.
  • The flag should never be used as a covering of a ceiling.
  • The flag should never be used as a background with letters or images in front of it.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  • The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
  • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
  • The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
Images found by Googling "Flag Clothes"
Hope you have found this informative and take the time to read up on the Flag customs more.

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