Breaking out the Stars and Stripes? Be Sure You’re Doing it Right.

f1agBelieve it or not, there is a proper and an improper way to fly the flag. The U.S Flag Code became public law in 1942 and specifies the exact rules for use and display of the American Flag. As Independence Day approaches we’ll find ourselves in a sea of red, white and blue, if you’ll be among the patriots flying the flag this holiday be sure you know what to do.

First things first, a flag should never be displayed if it is tattered, faded or torn. If your flag is in this condition it is considered no longer serviceable and can be given to the American Legion to be destroyed during a disposal ceremony. Secondly, at night your flag needs proper illumination. It is okay to fly a flag in the rain, only if it is an all weather flag, other wise it should be taken down during extreme weather conditions.

Mike Buss, the deputy director of the Americanism division with the American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis says above all, people need to show respect for the flag. He says it is okay to use plates, table cloths, balloons, and even clothing that features the symbol but using the actual American Flag in such a manner is a big no-no. Misusing the flag is considered a breach of flag code but there are no official penalties or fines. However, people should still practices proper flag etiquette despite the absence of punishment as a sign of respect for the symbol and this country.