Taking Proper Care of American Flags

Did you know that Flag Day occurred a few weeks ago? Not an official holiday, Flag Day celebrates the day in which the American flag was adopted by Congress. The first official observance of Flag Day was President Truman had assigned Flag Day. But, with Flag Day behind us and July 4 coming up in a few weeks, the displaying of American flags will increase. Do you know how to display the Stars and Stripes?

Simply attaching one to a pole isn’t the answer, however. black American flag, no matter how numerous, all symbolize the living nation and its citizens; not displaying one correctly is considered disrespect against the nation. But, instead of consulting the Flag Code, you can keep a few points in mind for displaying all American flags.

First, always make sure that the Union – the blue field with 50 white stars – is at the top left hand corner when the banner is displayed horizontally. If it is displayed vertically, the Union should be at the top right corner. In either instance, the flag must appear as if advancing. Additionally, if the flag is displayed in patch form on a military uniform, the Union should be in front.

Another aspect to consider is displaying a flag at full or half staff. Almost always, American flags should be at the top of the pole; only if decreed by the President or governor should half staff be used. If a current or former president, vice president, or Supreme Court justice passes away, the flag should also be displayed at half staff for 30 or 10 days, respectively.

Disposal is another issue concerning allĀ American flags; not disposing of one correctly is also considered a sign of disrespect. One the Stars and Stripes appear tattered, the banner should be taken down and burned in a ceremony. Such ceremonies are usually held on occasion in various towns. In fact, one in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, made the news recently, as 3,500 retired American flags were being disposed of.


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