Are you displaying the American flag correctly?
By following these guidelines, we can ensure that the flag continues to be a powerful symbol of freedom, unity, and patriotism for generations to come.
MITCHELL — As a symbol of freedom and national pride, the American flag holds a special place in the hearts of many Americans.
Proper etiquette for displaying and handling the flag is essential to show respect for this emblem of our nation. Whether it is flying high atop a flagpole or being carried in a parade, adhering to American flag etiquette is a way to honor the principles it represents. Here are some guidelines to follow when it comes to handling the American flag provided by DAV Commander chapter 27, Quartermater Post 2750 and Distrist 7 Commander for VFW Martin Christensen and Adjutant of the American Legion Post 18 Hugh Holmes.
Displaying the Flag
When the American flag is displayed, it should always be given the utmost respect. The flag should be flown from sunrise to sunset, and if it is displayed at night, it should be properly illuminated. During inclement weather, it is appropriate to take the flag down unless it is made of all-weather material.
Positioning the Flag
When displaying the American flag, there are specific guidelines to follow. If you are hanging the flag vertically against a wall or window, the union (blue field with stars) should be on the observer's left. When displaying the flag on a horizontal surface, such as a podium or stage, the union should be on the observer's left as well.
Flying the flag at half-staff is a symbol of mourning. This gesture is used to honor the lives of fallen servicemen and women, as well as national figures who have passed away. The flag should be raised to the top of the pole, and then lowered to the halfway point. It should be raised to full-staff again before it is lowered for the day.
Handling the Flag
When carrying or holding the American flag, it should never touch the ground or any other objects. It should be treated with respect and dignity. When passing the flag from one person to another, it should be done so reverently and with care.
When the flag becomes worn, torn, or faded, it should be retired and disposed of in a dignified manner. The preferred method of disposal is to burn the flag in a respectful ceremony. Many organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, regularly hold flag retirement ceremonies.
Respect for the Flag
It is important to remember that the American flag should never be used for advertising purposes, printed on disposable items, or worn as clothing. These actions can be seen as disrespectful and diminish the symbolic value of the flag.
The United States Flag Code provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for the proper handling and display of the American flag. While the Flag Code is not enforceable by law, it serves as a valuable resource for understanding the traditions and customs associated with the flag.
Adhering to American flag etiquette is a way to demonstrate our collective respect for the ideals and principles that the flag represents. By following these guidelines, we can ensure that the flag continues to be a powerful symbol of freedom, unity, and patriotism for generations to come.