This Memorial Day Practice Proper Flag Etiquette
As Memorial Day nears, many of us will be flying Old Glory in honor of those who gave their all for the freedoms we enjoy today. In the video above, President Ronald Reagan shares what I think is the most fitting honor of those fallen warriors.
With that said, flying the red, white and blue comes the responsibility and respect that our American Flag deserves. There are Federal laws that govern how and when the Stars and Stripes can be flown.
As of late I've noticed a lot of West Texas businesses flying the flag 24/7-365. Some of these businesses are in violation of flag laws and/or lack proper flag etiquette. Most businesses don't even know they're in violation.
The section of the law that deals with American Flag etiquette, is referred to as the Flag Code. The basic Flag Code guidelines, are what I've noticed some local businesses are doing.
The most obvious ones are flying Old Glory at night without illumination, flags that are faded, tattered and torn. Then there are those businesses that hung American and Texas flags as decorations and have gone out of business leaving their flags flying.
Here are some of the guidelines set forth by the American Flag Code:
- The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
- The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
- The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
- The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
- The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.
- The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
- The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.
- The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
- 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. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
- The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
- When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. (If you have a flag that needs to be destroyed contact our local Texas Trails Council of Scouting. The local boy scout chapter practices the honorable way to dispose of a flag.)
The video below shows how respectful and responsible our Nation's Boy Scouts are when it comes to the American Flag. The video shows in more detail about flag code and flag etiquette.
Thank you to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and courageously gave their lives. Every time you see Old Glory Flying, let us always remember our heroes.