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Are you displaying your American flag correctly?

Are you wondering how to correctly display your American flag? You might not realize it, but there is more to consider when hanging this patriotic symbol than the hardware you choose. In 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Flag Code, which states the proper guidelines for displaying the American flag, but there are no penalties or fines for making mistakes or breaking the code.


Many homeowners install brackets that allow for hanging a flag on a short pole somewhere at the entry to their house, but whether hung vertically or horizontally, the flag should be positioned with the field of stars at the top left when facing the viewer. If it's displayed in a window, always remember that the viewer is considered to be outside.


Traditional guidelines call for displaying the flag in public only from sunrise to sunset. However, the flag may be displayed at all times if it’s illuminated during darkness. To meet this requirement, try solar lights that charge throughout the day and shine bright at night, or a garden spotlight set on a timer.


The flag should not be subject to weather damage, so it should not be displayed during rain, snow and wind storms unless it is an all-weather flag. Choose one made from synthetic fibers, like nylon or polyester, that will stand up to the elements.


While your flag is not supposed to touch the ground, it can occur accidentally. However, you do not have to destroy the flag if it isn’t damaged in some way. If your flag is damaged or showing signs of wear and tear, then it should be destroyed “in a dignified way,” preferably by burning. Now of course you’re probably not likely to burn a used flag, so places like the American Legion posts, Boy Scout troops, your local VFW and other groups sometimes offer to retire your flag in a respectful ceremony.


The American flag should be displayed often, but especially on national, state holidays and special occasions, like Memorial Day.

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© 2019 by Justin Purpero | Articles