Flag Etiquite-Please Take a Moment to Read.

biglou

#1
Flag Etiquette-Please Take a Moment to Read.

I realize that we all have good intentions, but I also realize that all of us may not have been formally educated on the etiquite of our American flag. Out of respect for those that have served, and are now serving, to defend our privilages as Americans, please take a moment to read the following:

Displaying the Flag Outdoors:
When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.


Raising and Lowering the Flag:
The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.


Displaying the Flag Indoors:
When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.

The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.

When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.

When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right, and to the observer's left.


Parading and Saluting the Flag:
When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.


The Salute:
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem:
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.


The Flag in Mourning:
To place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.

When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.
 
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oldguy

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#2
Tahks Lou.
My flagpole snapped off in a wind storm a while back and I have been putting the flag up on our porch railing since, I wasn't positive which way the stars went but now I know I had it backwards. It is correct as we speak:)
 

Jeff Allen

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#3
A co-worker and I have been discussing this for the last two days. Thanks Lou for clearing this up for us.
Do you have or know the proper procedure for disposal of the Flag? I have always thought it was to be done by your local Boy Scout troop, is this true?
My Flag is over 30 years old (given to me by my father when he was in the Army stationed in Germany) and it is losing its color.
 
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#4
Thanks for the tips! BTW, pardon my ignorance, but where or what is the "union" on the flag?:think
 

BSWIFT

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#5
Well done, Lou. Appropriate respect should always be given to the proudest symbol of our great nation.
Thank you.
 
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oldguy

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#6
I believe the proper disposal method is burning but not allowing it to fall to the ground. Never discard on a trash pile!!!!:think Usually around Memorial day our local VFW chapter collects old flags for disposal.
BTW I have always in the past purchased flags thru our Senator that had been flown over the capital and was extremely happy that the last rtime ALL the flags I recieved were made in the USA. Previously about 1/2 were not- don't know if it is luck of the draw or what.
 

biglou

#7
Here are some more that I copied from the same place:

Kawie-The union is the blue field with the stars in it.:)

STANDARDS of RESPECT
The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

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 as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or 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 placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
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.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Contact your local American Legion Hall and inquire about the availability of this service.

Note from Lou-I interperet these standards to refer to an actual flag itself, not a representation, such as the "Stand Tall, Be Proud" .gif up in the left corner of the forums. There is nothing wrong, IMHO, with using a representation of the stars and stripes to show patriotism.
 

KTMKyd

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#8
When my boy scout troop did it, our Troop LEader taught us how:

You cut the union form the rest of the flag, then cut all the stripes from eachother along the lines at which they seperate.

I can't remember how they burned it, they may have burned eac part one at a time, but it seems it would be interesting to lay the peices on log to be lit, in a way that it look almost sewn together......

Ask your local boy scout troop.

-Searge
 

MACE

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#9
Grandpa's Flag

I inherited a flag a few years ago. It was apparantly used on my grandfather's casket for a military burial. When I unfolded it to inspect it and refold it properly I was surprised to see it had 49 stars. Apparently gramps died sometime between Alaska and Hawaii becoming states.

Just a bit of trivia.

I am a regular flag waving (and flying) guy. I hope it becomes habit for the great masses and is not a fad. One last note, it is tradition in my family to give US flags as house warming gifts when our friends get new houses. It is always a welcome gift and I believe it helps spread the word that patriotism is a good thing.
 
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#10
flag etiquette

I am in aggreement with displaying the flag properly but also think that most americans would prefer to see the flag just plain displayed. Many if not most people don't know the proper way to display it and I don't think I would tell them to take it down. i would give them a few tips on the care and treatment of Old Glory but I'd commend them for waving her. Not meaning to offend anyone just saying my peace. I'd also say that no warship would ever fly the flag upside down although if you see that on a ship at sea it is likely a sign of distress like someone said.


US Navy vet
(SW Asia svc medal)
 

yarbonwick

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#11
During my tour in the Infantry I always tried to get out of flag detail. This week...I miss it.
 

biglou

#12
Chuck-I agree that everyone displaying the flag has good intentions. For that reason I don't think anyone would mind being properly educated on her etiquette. I do know some folks that would come to blows over something like that. Me, I'd prefer to pass on the knowledge and if someone is truly a patriotic American, they would abide by the rules set forth.
Yarbo-I was one of those rare birds that actually wanted to be outside standing and saluting when "Colors" was taking place! Gave me goosebumps then and still does today!:)
 
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#13
My wife and I got into an arguement the other day. We saw a car traveling down the road with a flag painted on the side of it. On the right side of the car the flag had the union to the rear of the car, stripes to the front. If the flag was mounted to a pole the union is always attached to the pole side. So if you are carrying or driving with a flag the union should always be to the front so that the striped end is flapping in the breeze just as if the wind was blowing. I told her that the flag was facing the wrong way. She said that there was no right or left to the flag. She basically said "what difference does it make?". I said "A BIG difference".

Somebody jump in and tell me that I am correct so I can show her that it does matter.
 

biglou

#14
**Ed McMahon voice on** "YES! You are correct, sir!"
If you look at aircraft that have the flag insignia painted on them you will see that the stripes always face to the rear. Attaching the flag to a pole by the "stripes end" in a no-no. I doubt the offending party meant any disrespect, however. It's just that people in everyday life aren't taught flag etiquette.:)
 

Rodzilla

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#15
Stopped by the local cinema this week, inside they had a large flag hung from the bannister above the concession stand. It was hung backwards with the union to the viewers right. I called the manager over and explained the things I had learned from this post (I knew most of it but not all) He was glad I said something as he and his staff were debating the placement. After leaving the movie it was corrected. So in short I don't think people would mind if you give them a nudge on proper flag use.

Rod