Since the tragedy of 9/11, a resurgence of patriotism has abounded in our great country. In fact, in 2015, the United States of America will buy close to 100 million flags. Now, that’s a lot of Stars and Stripes.
I love driving through neighborhoods and seeing Old Glory flapping in the breeze. So, what are some tips we should follow when hanging and storing our own American flags?
- Place the flag in a very visible place. It should have a place of prominence.
- If flown with state flags, the American flag should always be placed on its own right. So, when you look at the flags, you see the U.S. flag on the left. Or, if on a flagpole, it should always be at the top.
- You can fly the flag in inclement weather if, and only if, it is an all weather flag. If not, it needs to be taken down during bad weather.
- When hanging the flag vertically, you must always keep the union (the blue field of stars) at the top. The only time the flag should be flown upside down is if needed to signal dire distress.
- When the flag becomes weathered and worn and needs to be retired, never throw it in the trash! You should burn it. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can get in touch with your local Boy Scout troop or American Legion post, and they will tell you if they have flag disposal ceremonies.
- When you do decide to take your flag down, there is a proper way to fold it. Like square dancing, it’s a lot easier to do this with a partner. So, begin by you and your assistant holding the flag parallel to the ground, fold the lower stripes lengthwise over the union. (the blue field of stars) Make sure you are keeping the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Then, fold the flag lengthwise again while keeping the union on the outside. Next, make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open edge of the flag. Then, you will need to turn the outer point parallel to the open edge to make another triangle. Continue making triangular folds until the entire flag is folded into one triangle of blue and white stars.
So, as you fly the flag this weekend, remember: our country has so much to be thankful for, and it all started with our independence. As Lee Greenwood so beautifully sang, “I thank my lucky stars to be living here today, ‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom, and they can’t take that away.” Fly her proudly!
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