With the Fourth of July right around the corner, and flag day only a few weeks ago, we are in the middle of a summer full of our favorite colors: red, white and blue.
We love our flag. But how much do we really know about it beyond Betsy Ross? There is that special fold we learned in the Girl Scouts, we should display the flag stars up, we should never let it touch the ground. We know the Star-Spangled Banner and the Pledge, but for most of us, that’s right about where flag knowledge ends.
Here are a couple tips on flag etiquette from (http://www.usa-flag-site.org) that might refresh your memory:
- The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
- The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
- The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
Good behavior in regard to the flag is pretty straight forward, but Title 4 of the United States Code lays out a few specific rules that may very well surprise you and your flag-adorned neighbors this Fourth of July. Here are some key articles that got our attention:
(d). The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
(i). The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
(k). The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.(http://www.law.cornell.edu)
Uh oh! Title 4 of the United States Code prohibits the use of the flag as wearing apparel. Who knew? Maybe we are not quite so free as to wear a Red, White and Blue T as we’d like to be? Though some sources say that inappropriate flag wearing is punishable under federal law, the code is largely unenforced and possibly unenforceable. Whew!
We’re all for showing our patriotism – especially in T-shirts. Let’s go wild this Fourth of July!