Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Facts and Etiquette You May Not Know

by Lois Jamieson
Today, June 14th we celebrate Flag Day.
It seems appropriate to share some thoughts about flag etiquette and some interesting facts about the U.S. Flag. As with many schools, the students at StarShine start their day facing the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Let’s start with the etiquette part:
The flag should be displayed from sunup to sundown (with some exceptions – see  “Facts”)
If hanging the flag vertically the stars should be on the right.
The flag is normally folded in a three corner (triangle) fashion.
When used at a funeral the flag is then folded and handed to the next of kin.
It is against the law to wear the flag on an article of clothing or to print its image on anything disposable like paper plates or paper napkins.
The flag should not touch anything beneath it, including the ground.
When displaying the flag at half-staff, first hoist it to the top of the staff and then lower it. When lowering the flag hoist it again to the top of the staff and then down.
Flag Facts:
It is a myth that a flag should be destroyed if it touches the ground.
The first U.S. postage stamp to feature the American flag by itself, as a sole object, was issued July 4, 1957. The flag appeared with other objects on stamps first in 1926 and again in 1931.
The design of the flag has been modified twenty six times since 1777. The current fifty star flag dates from 1959.
The flag is displayed at half-staff usually when the government so indicates. It is referred to as half-mast in naval usage. 
The fifty stars on the flag represent fifty states and the thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies that became the first states in the Union.
The U.S. flag may be displayed continually at certain locations by Presidential Proclamation, Acts of Congress or custom. Some examples are at the White House, the Washington Monument, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Ports of Entry that are continuously open.
And the surface of the moon.
The flag should be displayed at full staff on the following days: New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, every four years on Inauguration Day, Lincoln’s birthday, President’s Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day.
Happy Flag Day!
Many thanks to my Eagle Scout- Korean War veteran husband, and Wikipedia for their help.
If you haven’t read Ageless at 80 or Simple Parent Tips lately you’re missing some great stories.