Should the American Flag Be Flown at Night and Other Etiquette Questions Answered
At my house, we proudly fly the flag of the United States of America and we fly it every single day. We might not always agree with what is happening in our country, but we truly do love this land and her people and despite the turmoil of recent, we really are proud to be Americans.
In addition to proudly flying the American flag off the front of our house, we also are in the habit of placing smaller American flags, the kind of wooden sticks, along the road in front of our house and lining our garden wall. These smaller flags go out on Memorial Day weekend and they stay up until we're well into the fall.
On Memorial Day weekend, as we were putting out our smaller flags, my little boy accidentally dropped one the of the flags on the ground and that introduced the perfect opportunity to once again remind him of the importance of not letting the American flag touch the ground.
Most people know that the American flag should never be allowed to touch the ground (obviously, accidents happen) but here are some other bits of flag etiquette courtesy of the United States Military.
Etiquette for When Flying the American Flag
The American flag should only be flown from sunrise to sunset unless you have the proper lighting to illuminate it in darkness. When the American flag is being flown alongside other flags, such as state flags, it must always be flown higher than the others. The American flag should only be flown at half-staff on special days such as Memorial Day, when flags across the country are flown at hall-staff until 12 p.m., after when the flag is raised to full height. The American flag should never be flow upside down unless there is an emergency and a person is in major distress. If you see a flag flying upside down, you should assume someone is in grave danger and contact authorities so they can investigate.
Who Should Salute the American Flag and When
During ceremonial events, anyone who is present and is dressed in uniform including military and first responders, should face the flag and salute the flag with a military salute. If a member of the military or a veteran is present but not dressed in uniform, it is acceptable for them to also give a military salute. All others should also face the flag, remove any head covering they might be wearing, and place their right hand over their left shoulder so their hand covers their heart.
Things That Should Never Be Done With the American Flag
The American flag should never be allowed to touch the ground. Additionally, the flag itself should not ever be worn as clothing (like wrapped around the body or cut up or sewn to create an article of clothing). The American flag should also not be used as a decoration. If you want to decorate and want your decoration to resemble the American flag, you should use bunting. The American flag should also never be draw on or tied back and certainly don't wad up the flag. Instead, when not in use, carefully fold your flag in a triangle and store it in a place where it won't get dirty.
How to Properly Dispose of the American Flag
Sometimes the inevitable happens and the American flag is simply not fit to be flown. In cases such as this, there are some special steps that should be taken to properly dispose of your flag. To see the proper was to dispose of your flag and the reason behind the importance of doing so properly, check this out.