Fly the American Flag... With All Due Respect
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. With Memorial Day approaching and Flag Day set, annually, as June 14th, many of us are planning to fly our American flags and are concerned about properly displaying and honoring one of our nation’s most visible symbols.
The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. Some of these instructions include:
- The Flag should never be used as apparel, bedding, or drapery.
- When the Flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms.
- When displaying a flag outdoors, it should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
- The Flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. If displayed on a motorcar, the staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
- When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flat of the United States should hold the position of superior prominence. No other flag or pennant should be placed above it, or if at the same level, it should fly to the right of the U.S. flag.
- The Flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.
- On Memorial Day, the Flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, and then raised to the top of the staff.
- The Flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary. When it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferable by burning. Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony. There is a flag drop-off box at Veteran’s Park at Park Avenue and Cook Street.
For more information, please visit www.usflag.org/flagetiquette.html.