Thursday is Flag Day, one of the most overlooked and insignificant holidays on that adorable puppy calendar hanging from your refrigerator. There are no parades, barbecues or days off work, but my hope is that after reading these 300 words, you're inspired to fly a flag at your home or business.
Why? My name is Sarah Flagg. Sure, that extra "g" puts a cramp in my story when I tell people my family invented flags and their patriotic symbolism, but the holiday still holds a special place in my heart and deserves more recognition than it gets.
It motivated Major League Baseball player Rick Monday to run across Dodger Stadium toward two unruly fans with lighter fluid and a match as they tried to set fire to the flag during a game.
Wrote Monday in 2006, "What they were doing was wrong then, in 1976. In my mind, it's wrong now, in 2006. It's the way I was raised. My thoughts were reinforced with my six years in the Marine Corp Reserves. It was also reinforced by a lot of friends who lost their lives protecting the rights and freedoms that flag represented."
True, what Monday did was above and beyond patriotic, but with the upcoming Flag Day, I implore you to take a moment and consider flying our most pliable U.S. symbol Thursday.
I leave you with a quote from Woodrow Wilson, because he is far more eloquent than myself.
"When I think of the flag... I see alternate strips of parchment upon which are written the rights of liberty and justice, and stripes of blood to vindicate those rights, and then, in the corner, a prediction of the blue serene into which every nation may swim which stands for these great things." - Woodrow Wilson.
Here are a few tips when it comes to flying the flag of our country:
Time and Occasion:
It is customary to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, flags may be flown on designed dates like:
- Flag Day, June 14
- Fathers Day, third Sunday in June
- Independence Day, July 4
- Labor Day, first Monday in September
- Constitution Day, September 17
- Columbus Day, second Monday in October
- Navy Day, October 27
- Veterans Day, November 11
- Thanksgiving Day, fourth Tuesday in November
- Christmas Day, December 25
- And such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
- The birthdays of states (when admitted to the Union)
Positions and manner of display
- Flags should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff
- The flag shall not be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle
- No other flag or pennant should be placed above it
- The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag’s own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag
- When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street, or the east in a north and south street.
- The flag, when flown at half-staff should be first hoisted to the peak for an instance or moment, then lowered to its half-staff position. When lowered at the end of the day, the flag should be raised to the peak before it's taken down.
- When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into a grave or allowed to touch the ground.
If you knew all of these rules and regulations, give yourself an “A” for being flag-tastic.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Mehlville Patch in St. Louis, Mo.