Flying ‘Old Glory" requires respect for flag etiquette
Since the events of 9/11, Americans have been thinking more about their nation and their flag. Flags have sprung up in parks, parking lots and front porches. The “posting of the colors” ceremonies at sports and other events have now become more tear-filled with thoughts of those lost to terrorist attacks and the sacrifices being made by our service men and women and their families.Americans love the emblem of their great nation. But, not all of us understand how to properly treat the American flag to preserve its honor. As I drove through Frisco and surrounding communities a couple of weeks ago, I saw some heartbreaking flags being flown. Some of these once noble flags had wind-tattered edges. Some had foot-long tears with the stripes flapping freely. Some of the flags were intact, but faded to the point of antiquity. Lots of the flags were hung wrong. Some flew in the dark of night with no lighting on them. One sad flag even flew in front of a fire station. Some just looked twisted and tangled as if their owners cared more about putting one out for show than for caring for the flag and honoring what it represents.To help us all show proper respect for the American flag, Congress “codified” rules for the care and display of the American flag – and provided strict penalties for not abiding by them. Those can be found in the United States Code, Title 4, Flag and Seal, Seat of Government and the States, Chapter 1 – The Flag. The full text of the U.S. Code can also be found at various web sites, including: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode. In order to help us all properly display our flags so that our visitors to Summit County visitors can see the pride we take in our country, here are some key parts of the U.S. Code:Sec. 6. – Time and occasions for display a … The flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. Sec. 7. – Position and manner of display (b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle…(i) When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left …Sec. 8. – Respect for flag (b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it …(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery …(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling. (j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform …(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.Bill Tolbert writes from his home in Frisco. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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