Flag Day is Approaching, Here’s How to Honor Our Flag

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Friday, June 14 will be Flag Day.  We should all be aware of and observe the etiquette protocols which serve as a standard of respect for the American Flag. 

The flag should not be used as a drapery or for covering a speaker’s podium.  Bunting of red, white and blue can be used for this purpose with the blue bunting at the top of the decoration. 

The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing.  You may fly the flag upside down but only as a distress signal. 

The flag should never be used for advertising purposes nor have any commercially oriented signs attached to the staff or halyard.  Nothing should be attached to the flag such as a number, word or insignia or picture.   

The flag should not be used as a part of a costume or athletic uniform.  A flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations. 

The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and done ceremoniously.  If displayed at night, it should be illuminated.  The flag should be saluted as it is hoisted and lowered and the salute should be held until it has been unsnapped from the halyard.  

When the flag is placed at half staff, it should be raised to the peak and then lowered to a position halfway between the top and bottom of the staff.  When the flag is removed for the day, it is again raised to the peak of the staff and they lowered completely. 

No part of the flag should touch the ground.  When lowered from a staff, it must be held and then neatly folded and stored.  The flag may be cleaned and mended when necessary, but when it is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a national symbol, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.  The flag need not be automatically destroyed if it touches the ground. 

When the flag passes you in a procession, or when it is raised or lowered, all should turn to face the flag and salute.  All persons should come to attention with uniformed personnel providing the appropriate formal military salute.  Non-uniform citizens place their right hand over their heart.  Men remove any head cover and hold it to their left shoulder, again with hand over heart.  The salute is also held during the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance or playing of the National Anthem.  If displayed, the salute is directed to the flag.  If not, the salute is directed to the lead speaker or source of the music.

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