Our stars and stripes
June 30, 2011By Ginger Isham
Many people will display the American Flag on July 4. Towns will line their main streets with “Old Glory,” military and others will carry the flag in parades, people will wave the flag from floats and children will wave the flag from the sidelines.
There are some rules to follow related to our flag. Rule No. 1 is there shall be no disrespect shown to our nation’s flag because it represents a living country and is considered a living thing. The flag should never touch the ground. Words, insignias, figures or embroidery shall not be added to our flag. It should never be worn or used as clothing, bedding, draperies, athletic uniforms, or as a costume. It should never be used as a cover for pillows. When there are two or more national flags displayed, they should be on separate poles and equal in height. One should never carry the flag horizontal or flat. It should always be held upright and flown free. If one wears a flag pin, it should be located on the left side of clothing.
A worn out flag may be burned if made of wool or cotton. If it is made of synthetics, it should be buried. If you have a question about what to do with a worn flag, contact your local Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. A local cleaning company can sometimes clean the flag for free.
On certain occasions, the president or governor can order the flag flown at half-staff.
Former military and veterans may give the military salute to the flag when not in uniform. It is OK to fly a flag that doesn’t have 50 stars.
All-weather flags do not have to be taken in each day at sundown. Flags flown at night should be illuminated with a light to show that it’s on display.
Today there is U.S. legislation being considered to:
• Prohibit importing foreign-made American flags and the sale of them
• Allow the flag to be given to immediate families for someone killed in the line of duty, such as a policeman, emergency technician, or rescue person
• Give the family of a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol
There are approximately 20 holidays a year when we are encouraged to fly the flag. Did you know one of the most recent ones, declared by President Barack Obama in 2009, is National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day on July 27? There is also Peace Officers Day (honoring those killed in the line of duty) on May 15. The flag can be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day.
A final bit of info about our flag. “Reveille “ is played when the flag is being raised and “Taps” is played when lowering the flag.
Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.