Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer
As Americans we will observe Memorial Day this coming Monday, a national holiday to honor the members of the armed services who died in defense of our lives and liberties. Many of the observances will involve displaying of “The Stars and Stripes,” “Old Glory,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the flag of the United States of America.
The following are some rules of flag etiquette that can help in handling and displaying our flag with honor and respect.
- On Memorial Day itself, the flag is to be lowered to half-staff before noon and then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. Raising the flag is to be done briskly while lowering it should be done slowly and with all present saluting. A standard military salute is performed by all in uniform while those in civilian dress should place their right hand over their heart. Those wearing hats should remove them and hold them in their right hand as the hand is over the heart.
- Display of the flag has its own set of rules. The flag must be raised to the very top of the pole (except when at half-staff). No other flag must be above it. Flags should be flown from dawn to dusk. If flown at night, it must be illuminated. If displayed indoors, on a wall (either vertically or horizontally) the stars should be to the left of the observer.
- If a flag becomes worn, it can be sewn and repaired. However, if it becomes tattered and unrepairable, it should be replaced and the worn flag should be burned in a dignified manner. The American Legion, along with Boy and Girl Scout troops, often will hold flag burning ceremonies on June 12th, Flag Day.
As Americans, it is our proud heritage to honor our fallen heroes this coming Monday. We should also make sure that we revere and respect our country’s unique symbol in their memory.