As I said in my last blog from Memorial Day through Flag Day, June 14th to 4th of July we celebrate America. Many people choose this time to fly the flag while others fly it year round. Either way you choose to fly “Old Glory” I thought it might be a good time to review proper flag respect.. Following are some selected notes from the U.S. Flag Code.
“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.”
According to the code The Flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. Also it should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
This is probably the one item many people ignore. The Flag Code states it is custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flag staffs in the open. However, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. “Proper illumination” is a light specifically placed to illuminate the flag (preferred) or having a light source sufficient to illuminate the flag so it is recognizable as such by the casual observer. So my suggestion is if you fly your flag next to the garage leaving your outside lights on at night. This normally should provide enough light to properly illuminate the flag
The “right” as the position of honor developed from the time when the “right hand” was the “weapon hand” or “point of danger.” The right hand raised without weapon was a sign of peace. The right hand, to any observer, is the observer’s left. Therefore, as outlined in the Flag Code, the flag and/or blue field is displayed to the left of the observer, which is the flag’s “own right.”
The lowering of the flag is only authorized on Memorial Day, from sunrise until noon, and by executive order of the President, or State Governor.
The other item many people do not follow is with regards to the size of flag that is appropriate for different sizes of flagpoles. The rule of thumb which has been passed down through tradition and custom is the fly of the flag should be approximately one-fourth the height of the pole. Therefore if you fly a five foot flag it should be on a twenty foot pole
Finally 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. But how do we do that in a dignified way without having it look like a protest. Best way take to your local VFW and they will dispose of it properly.
Celebrate America by flying “Old Glory” but do it properly and with respect!!