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Rules about the flag you need to know

Tribune News Service • Jun 14, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Established to honor the adoption of the American flag on June 14, 1777, Flag Day became a national holiday in 1946. While not an official federal holiday, Flag Day has historically been celebrated with parades, ceremonies at historical landmarks and museums, and by citizens displaying the flag of the United States. It’s an excellent opportunity to review flag etiquette, as detailed in the U.S. Flag Code.

Below are some points every American should know about the display and maintenance of the flag:

• The flag should not be displayed during inclement weather. Traditionally, it would only be displayed from sunrise until sunset, although it can be displayed at night if well-lit.

• The flag should never be used for advertising, printed on disposable items like napkins or boxes, or used as part of a costume or athletic uniform.

• The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing, including the president of the United States.

• The flag should never touch anything below it, including the ground.

• No flag should be displayed higher than the American flag. And when another nation’s flag is flown, it should be flown from a separate flag pole, with the American flag hoisted first and lowered last. The American flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

• If displayed on a car, the flag should be affixed to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

• When a flag is no longer in good condition, it should be destroyed in a dignified, ceremonious fashion, preferably by burning. The American Legion hosts an annual ceremony retiring old flags.

Here’s something every American should read, from the American Legion’s flag retirement ceremony:

“A flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze, or a beautiful banner of finest silk. Its value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a symbol of all that we have worked for and lived for, and died for a free nation of free men, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of justice, freedom and democracy.”

— From The Norman (Oklahoma) Transcript (TNS)

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