Respect the flag, respect the land


Old Glory

The Stars and Stripes

The Red White and Blue

The Star Spangled Banner

The Flag of The United States of America

Our Flag has had many nicknames over the years and means many things to many people. It is used as a show of patriotism, it is draped over caskets to show respect for fallen Soldiers and Veterans.

We fly it with pride as a symbol of our freedoms. The Flag is used to show courage in battle and at times our respect for those who have given everything for it.

There are times when our flag is flown at half-staff in remembrance, such as times of national mourning, on certain holidays that commemorate the patriotic sacrifices of our citizens, and times of national disaster. Memorial Day is one of those holidays, observed on the last Monday in May each year. A holiday normally celebrated by family picnics, barbecues, and maybe a community parade. Initially called Decoration Day, it is a holiday commemorating American Soldiers who died serving our country.

The rules for flying our Flag are a little different on this holiday than any other. On Memorial Day the flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to the full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country.

At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolves not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

There are other rules in the U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, to be used as guidelines for government officials and all Flag flying Americans to show respect for the Flag and what it stands for. According to the code “The Flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.”

Our Flag should always be treated with respect and should never be flown after dark without proper lighting, should not be permitted to become dirty, faded or tattered, and should never touch the ground.

An old Flag can be taken to the Boys Scouts of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, or American Legion for proper disposal.

Darryl Muir

Senior Chief, USN, (RET)