I have seen a few American flags recently that horrified me. They were being flown and they were looking very tattered and worn. It got me thinking about the American flag and flag etiquette. There are rules for display, use and how how to dispose of a flag that is past its useful life.

From an article in Good Housekeeping on the flag I learned a few new things and few things I had already know.  Here is that list:

-Unless it is an all-weather flag it needs to be taken down in the rain.
-Flag would need to lit at night if it is to remain up.
-Don’t let the flag touch the ground.
-If the flag is being displayed on a pole with other flags, the US flag goes at the top.
-The flag needs to be in good condition.
-Only the president or state governor can order a flag to half-staff. (see below for a site for you to check why the flag is being flown at half-staff)
-When the flag is not being flown it need to be folded in the proper manor.
-When being hung vertical, the stars should be on the top left to the observer.

There were also a few other things I learned from the VFW website on flag etiquette:

-Don’t fly flag upside down... unless there is an emergency.
-Allow the flag to fall free.
-Don’t draw or make marks the flag.
-Don’t use the flag as clothing.

The one about not using the flag as clothing…does all these stuff we see in the stores with the American flag as part of the design quality or it is taking a flag and using it for clothing.  Not sure about that. I have seen that debated in the past.

So there you go. If you have an American flag and wish to display it that is wonderful but it does require some care to do it right.

Oh when you do see the flag at half-staff and you wonder why...here is a handy little website to let you know.

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