Flag Etiquette: Treating the American Flag with Respect

It’s difficult to look upon Old Glory without feeling something akin to patriotism. The American flag represents who we are today, but also celebrates all the men and women who fought so hard to make our country what it is.

As frequent listeners to The Maria Sanchez Show can attest, patriotism is a favored topic. One small way people can show their patriotism involves how they treat the American flag. No, it’s not as dramatic as flying a fighter jet or storming a beach, but true patriotism lies in those small, everyday moments that allow us to be good citizens.

Following up on flag etiquette from a previous blog post, here are steps for caring correctly for the Stars and Stripes.

  • There should be light on the U.S. flag at all times, either by sunlight or another appropriate light source.
  • Unless a flag has been designated for inclement weather, it should be flown only in fair weather.
  • The flag should only be flown upside down as a distress signal, and should never be dipped to any person or thing.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose.
  • The flag should not be used for decoration.
  • The U.S. flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform.
  • There should never be a mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing attached to the American flag.
  • The flag should not be used to hold or carry anything.
  • No part of the flag should touch the ground or any other object, but rather, received into waiting hands.
  • The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
  • When a flag is so worn that it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of America, it should be destroyed by burning.

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