Taking care of our flag

Published 7:44 pm Thursday, June 17, 2004

By Staff
Our View
National Flag Day will be celebrated Monday, and it is perhaps even more important now than ever to keep in mind our American heritage.
The first flag is believed to have been sewn by Betsy Ross and designed by Francis Hopkinson, a N.J. delegate to the Continental Congress. The first official flag design was established by Executive order in 1912 and changed as states were added to the Union. Flag Day was first celebrated June 14, 1877 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the date the US flag was adopted by the Continental Congress. National Flag Day was proclaimed in 1949 by President Truman.
As part of Flag Day since 1980, the Annual Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance has been observed. This year the pause will be at 7 p.m. EDT. At that time, Americans throughout the world are asked to recite the Pledge of Allegiance together.
The National Flag Day Foundation offers several suggestions for proper flag etiquette to observe for your own Flag Day celebrations.
Display the flag only between sunrise and sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs. The flag may be displayed for twenty-four hours if illuminated in darkness.
Do not display the flag in inclement weather.
Whether displaying the flag vertically or horizontally, make sure the canton of stars is visible on the upper left-hand side.
Do not let the flag touch the ground.
An unusable flag that is damaged and worn and can no longer be displayed should be destroyed in a dignified way by burning.
When not on display, the flag should be respectfully folded into a triangle, symbolizing the tricorn hats worn by colonial soldiers in the Revolutionary War.
Here are some more answers to flag questions from Atmore's Nick Smith.
What is the proper position for the flag when accompanied by other flags of States, cities, municipalities or societies?
Answer: When flags of States, cities, or municipalities, or pennants of societies, are flown on the same halyard (rope) with the flag of the United States, the American Flag should always be at the peak. (Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 3[f])
What is proper protocol when the flag is flown with the flag of another nation?
Answer: When flags of two or more nations are displayed together, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above the flag of another nation in time of peace. (Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 3[g])
How should the flag be displayed in a church or auditorium?
Answer: When displayed from a staff in a church of public auditorium, the American Flag should hold the position of superior prominence, in front of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag displayed in a similar manner should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker, or to the right of the audience. (Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 3[k])
We hope everyone can enjoy Flag Day and take a moment to remember those who made it possible.

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