Honor Our Flag This Memorial Day

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Long May It Wave

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

Last week, Jack Skinner, Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Auburn Hills was on routine patrol at Waukegan and Squirrel when he noticed that the American flag raised at the Auburn Hills Boys and Girls Club was badly torn and tattered.  Jack, a six-year Navy veteran who saw action aboard the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey during the Lebanon War in the 1980’s, was concerned about the flag and how the symbol’s condition could negatively reflect on the many good things the Club does for our community.

Jack stopped in and spoke to an office employee who said that the Club’s Director was on vacation and honestly expressed that she didn’t know if they could afford to purchase a new flag at this time.  Later, Jack brought up this situation to Steve Cohen, the Director of Auburn Hills Community Development.  After a brief discussion of options, Steve remembered that he had an American flag in great condition and volunteered its use at the Club.

Last Thursday, in the company of several members of the Auburn Hills American Legion Post 143, Jack proudly raised the flag on the towering flagpole by the entrance of the Club.


It turns out that Steve’s American flag was an old gift from his father-in-law who was very proud that the flag was put to such good use.  Steve’s father-in-law’s dad was a World War II Navy veteran who has since passed away.  Steve told me his father-in-law has the folded military flag that was presented to him at his father’s funeral.  His father-in-law stated his hope was to someday put that memorial flag to a similar use.

I wanted to share this story of the good actions of Jack and Steve.  They worked together without anyone watching to support the Club, when the institution just needed a little help.  With some persistent nudging, they let me tell you about this.  I am glad they did.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”