Old Glory has endured a lot over the past couple of centuries but continues to hold great meaning for most people in the United States. The original 13-star flag now has 50 stars for each of its 50 states. Yet, within virtually every state, the U.S. flag continues to endure degradation by those who disrespect it and the nation and people it represents. Let’s take a closer look at how to properly display and respect the nation’s flag so that you do not accidentally disrespect or degrade Old Glory when you are trying to honor and respect it.
Correct Procedures to Display Old Glory
Knowing the general rules for displaying Old Glory will help you to properly respect that nation’s flag and prevent accidentally disrespecting it. When you display the flag on a wall or in a window, the blue field always should be in the upper left corner. Nothing should block the flag or otherwise interfere with its display, and it never should touch the floor or ground.
When you hoist the flag on a flag pole, it should flow freely in the breeze and drape naturally when the wind is still. You never should use a horizontal pole to hold out the flag to display it when it is on a flag pole. You also need to pay attention to the weather and the light. Unless you have an all-weather flag, you should take down the flag when it is raining, snowing, or a wind storm is blowing through. When the sun is setting, you should either take down the flag or turn on a light that illuminates it throughout the night.
Don’t Wear the Flag
The flag is not a common textile that you might use to create clothing. You never should wear it – even as a cape. Nor should you use the flag as bedding, a table cover, or for any other purpose other than displaying it to show respect for the nation that Old Glory represents. Anything less than a correct and proper display of the U.S. flag is an error and is considered disrespectful.
While you should not wear the flag, that does not mean you can’t wear clothing that resembles or depicts the flag. That’s because the clothing never was a flag and is not made out of one. Instead, an item like an American flag hat might have a patch or a print of the flag that is displayed properly and respectfully. Such items honor the flag and are recognized as respectful tributes to Old Glory and the nation.
Know Your Flag Laws
You might not have known before, but there are federal and state laws that govern its display. The Federal Flag Code and the flag codes of respective states help to determine the legally acceptable standards for displaying the U.S. flag. There are no criminal or civil penalties for violating laws pertaining to the flag, but the laws determine what is socially acceptable.
Featured Image by Alexandre Cerqueira usina3 from Pixabay