How Well do You Know the Flag Code?
Today is Flag Day, a day first begun, it is believed, in 1885, by a Wisconsin school teacher who wanted her students to observe June 14 because it was the anniversary of the official adoption of the stars and stripes. It was first called 'Flag Birthday'.
We fly the flag on various days throughout the year at our house and, of course, Flag Day is one of them. We are always careful to not fly it in inclement weather (as we don't have an all-weather flag), never let it touch the ground, and we take it down when it is dark, as it should be flown around the clock only when properly illuminated.
These are only a small part of what makes up the Flag Code, adopted first in 1923 with subsequent revisions, the latest being in 2013. The American Legion makes the Flag Code readily available on their website and it has specific directions for everything to do with the flag, including as to time and occasions for display, such as it should be displayed on New Year's Day, Inauguration Day, MLK Day, Mother's Day, Armed Forces Day, Columbus Day, Christmas Day, among many others throughout the year.
The Flag Code also addresses respect for our flag, including the fact that the flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress; the flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery; and that no part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations.
The flag represents a living country and, is itself, considered a living thing. There are also very specific guidelines on what to do if a flag is no longer fit to be displayed. So, on this Flag Day, and many other days throughout the year, fly our flag proudly, but respectfully for all that it represents about out country and ourselves.