In 1942, Congress approved the U.S. Flag Code, establishing an official etiquette for the handling and display of the U.S. Flag. The cardinal rule is to always treat the flag respectfully… essential specifics include:
For home display, the standard practice is to use a staff that angles upward from a home’s front wall, though it’s also appropriate to hang the flag horizontally. The staff should be held in place by a bracket or screw. The homeowner should be careful not to let the flag touch the ground or the floor. The “union,” the field of stars, should always be positioned at the flag’s peak. When the flag is displayed against a wall, the union should be at the top left. You can fly a flag from your car, with the staff firmly attached to the right side of the car.
Flying at Half Staff
The U.S. president or any state governor can order flags to be flown at half-staff and set the length of their remaining that way. The rule of thumb is 30 days for the death of a president or former president, 10 days for a vice president, a chief justice of the Supreme Court or the speaker of the House of Representatives. On Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon, when it should be raised to full staff, honoring the nation’s war heroes. Other days on which the flag is typically flown half-staff are September 11, Pearl Harbor Day (December 7), and Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15). However, the flag should not be at half-staff for Veterans Day (November 11), which is a celebratory holiday.
To retire or dispose of a damaged flag, Section 176 of the U.S. Flag Code says that when “The Flag…is…no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” Respectfully place the folded flag at the center of a fire, being careful not let fragments of the flag drift away. Then bury the ashes.
Before you do this, however, be sure to check local ordinances about building fires. Also, check the material of the flag; burning nylon or other artificial fibers can create a health hazard. If you have no other option, check with patriotic organizations in your community, like VFW or the Boy Scouts, about leaving the damaged flag for them to dispose of.
Clearly, the rules for using the U.S. Flag are complex, often addressing issues of handling and treatment of the flag in microscopic detail. But the rules are a mark of the seriousness with which Americans treat their bond with their native land and the reverence they have for their national flag.
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Source: ©2018 Natonwide®
Category: Homeowners' Insurance, JulyTags: American Flag, D.F. Dwyer Insurance, Flag Display, Flag display after dark, Flag Disposal, Flag Etiquette, Flying flag at half-staff, Fourth of July, Homeowners, June, Memorial Day, U.S. Flag Code, Veteran's Day
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