America will turn 241 this July 4th and accompanying all the hot dogs, hamburgers and hangouts will be countless displays of the stars and stripes.
Flying the American flag isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing, however. As the late Johnny Cash reminds us from time to time:
“So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don’t let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought
I do like to brag
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag”
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves! In that spirit, here are some of the traditional dos and don’ts of flying the American flag as defined by the U.S. Flag Code courtesy of the American Legion.
- The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
- It should be flown from sunrise to sunset unless illuminated in hours of darkness.
- The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement unless an “all-weather” flag is used.
- Unlike red, white and blue bunting, the American flag should not be used as a drapery or for any decoration generally.
- The flag should never be “dipped” to any person or thing, and is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
- No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America with few exceptions.
- When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object, and it should be received only by waiting hands and arms.
- The flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously for storage.
“Ragged Old Flag”
Now you know! Here’s to family, friends, American flags and the good ol’ USA! Happy July 4th.
Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.