Remember to treat the flag with care

Published 6:10 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013

So this Independence Day, while you sit back and enjoy the fireworks, think about what patriotism means to you, and if you have a flag, either at your home or at work, ask yourself if you are giving it the proper respect that it deserves.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars website provides basic flag etiquette and the Flag Code:

Displaying the flag:

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On Same Staff: U.S. flag at peak, above any other flag.

Grouped: U.S. flag goes to its own right. Flags of other nations are flown at same height.

Marching: U.S. flag to marchers right (observer’s left).

On speaker’s platform: When displayed with a speaker’s platform, it must be above and behind the speaker. If mounted on a staff it is on the speaker’s right.

Decoration: Never use the flag for decoration. Use bunting with the blue on top, then white, then red.


All persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.

Half Staff:

On special days, the flag may be flown at half-staff. On Memorial Day it is flown at half-staff until noon and then raised.

Do not let the flag touch the ground.

Do not fly flag upside down unless there is an emergency.

Do not carry the flag flat, or carry things in it.

Do not fasten it or tie it back. Always allow it to fall free.

Flag Disposal:

1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.

2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.

3. Place the flag on the fire.

4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.

5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.

6. Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.