Getting Ready For Flag Day
Getting Ready For Flag Day
It’s nice to display your patriotism and love for this country on flag-flying holidays. Flag Day is quickly approaching, so we are bringing you some interesting information, reminders on flag etiquette, and a few decorating ideas to enhance your ‘American Spirit’!
HISTORY | Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th, and commemorates the adoption of the flag on that day in 1777. President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing June 14 as Flag Day, and in 1949 National Flag Day was established by Congress.
DISPLAY | When the flag is on a pole attached to a wall horizontally or diagonally, hang the flag at the top with any other flags below it. When the flag is hung from a horizontal rope from a building, the union (star field) should always be at the top, and should be on the flag’s right (viewer’s left). If a hang is hung over a street, the union should ideally point east or north.
When displaying more than one flag on a pole, the American Flag should always be above the other flags, and should be the same size or larger than the other flags. No international flags should be flown on the same pole as the American Flag.
The American Flag should always fly in the light. If you can see the flag clearly because it has a solar flagpole light, street lights, or house light directed towards it, then it can remain outside at night. Otherwise, it should be brought in at night.
DISPOSAL | Our U.S. Flag Code states, “The flag, when it is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” When an American flag is beyond repair, it should be retired in a respectful manner.
When holding a flag burning ceremony, first take note of the material of your flag. Some materials may emit toxins if openly burned. The ceremony should be held at your home or other private location. Begin by folding the flag in the customary manner. Start a fire large enough to completely burn the flag, respectfully place the flag into the fire without allowing it to touch the ground. As the flag burns, you can say the Pledge of Allegiance, or pause for a moment of silence. The remaining ashes are to be buried.
Other disposal options include Community Disposal Boxes, where you can drop off your flag and local organizations (American Legion, VFW, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts) collect them and hold ceremonies to retire them. Coincidentally, Flag Day is one of the most common days to hold flag disposal ceremonies. Some funeral homes will take your old flags and burn them with the cremation of a veteran. You can ask around in your community for options.
Another great option is the Stars for our Troops program, which accepts worn-out American flags, and their volunteers cut out and send the flag’s embroidered stars to an American soldier.
You can bury your flag by placing it into a dignified wooden box, burying the box in the ground, and pausing for a moment of silence. In addition, some flag manufacturers will accept old flags and use the material to make new ones.
CELEBRATE | During patriotic holiday seasons, you can bring the celebration into your home as well with thoughtful decor that gives a nod to the red, white, and blue. The easiest way is to add red, white, and blue touches to your fresh flower displays. Another easy decor idea is to add small flags into floral displays, flower pots, and outdoor planters. If you are more crafty, there are lots of idea starters here.
Honoring and respecting our flag is one of the things that makes America great. We invite you to let us know of any flag disposal boxes that you are aware of here in Hampton Roads or Northeastern North Carolina. You can leave a note in the comments section below.
Happy Flag Day!