Honoring Old Glory

The problem with short work weeks is that, well they’re short and therefore seem to go by that much faster! Dealing with our builder and having my truck in the shop or 3 days didn’t help either. I’ve had several items to write about this week and just haven’t had time to get them out of my head and on the screen! Now its Friday and I’m just getting around to sharing those ideas with you, so here we go.

Although we did a quick overnight visit to some friends in Seward, we spent the rest of our Memorial Day weekend working on things around the house, including installing a flag pole for the flag my Mother-In-Law got the hubs for his birthday… back in March.  Yeah, we’ve been a little busy…

We’d tried to by a bracket and pole at several retailers over the last few weeks only to find that you had to buy everything as a kit with the flag. Or you could buy just the bracket without the pole or flag. WTH?! So the hubs got creative and purchased a wooden broom handle, which he shaved down on one end to fit the bracket.

Pole

And Wa-La! We have a flag on our front porch, just in time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Flag

Not respecting the flag is one of my top pet-peeves, so it’s no surprise that I grit my teeth every day when I drive past the flag that our neighbor put out and obviously forgot about some time ago. It’s faded, frayed and stuck around the pole it’s on. Plus there is no light on it at night. It disgusts me so much I couldn’t even bring myself to take a picture of it to show you how horrible it looks.

Unfortunately, there are people in our country who have never been taught how to respect the flag – like a previous co-worker who had no clue why it was would a bad thing to let the flag touch the ground when we were setting up for an event! Let’s just say I didn’t show extreme patience when correcting her. And now that we’ve entered the season of patriotic holidays I thought it would be helpful to share a few dos and don’ts on handling Old Glory.

Federal law stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette and the section of law that deals with the American Flag etiquette is referred to as the “Flag Code”. The basics of this code include the following guidelines:

  • 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. (This is super hard to abide by as a photographer, but I do!)
  • 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.

For a more comprehensive set of flag etiquette rules, click here. Please make sure you honor the flag – and those who serve it – when using it in your decorations. And if you know someone who needs an introduction to the rules, or even a refresher, I hope you’ll share this post with them.

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