Sheldon, Iowa — With Veterans’ Day coming up on Wednesday now is a good time to go over some points of flag etiquette.
According to the US Flag Code:
The flag is to be displayed from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open. When a patriotic effect is desired the flag may be displayed 24-hours-a-day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. If displayed with flags of other nations, all flags are to be flown at the same height. However, state and local flags are flown lower.
When used during a marching ceremony or parade with other flags, the U.S. Flag should be to the observer’s left. When placed on a podium the flag should be placed on the speaker’s right. Other flags should be placed to the speaker’s left.
When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be placed so that the union (that’s the blue field with the stars) is at the head and over the left shoulder.
When flown at half-staff, the flag should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
When saluting the flag, if you are in uniform (military, police, fire, etc.) you should render the military salute. Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. Everyone else should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart, or if applicable, hats or other headdresses should be held with the right hand and held at the left shoulder, with the hand over the heart.
The flag should be disposed of properly, normally by burning.
The flag should not be dipped for anyone or any other flag or vessel. It should not touch the ground or anything below it such as water or other objects. It should not be fastened or tied back. Always allow it to fall free.
The flag is also not to be used as decoration. For patriotic decoration, bunting with the blue on top, then white, then red is to be used.
The American Legion has a page all about how to handle the flag. It can be found at www.legion.org/flag/code.
Incidentally, to honor our veterans and the flag they served, J W Voigt of the Commodity Office in Sheldon and Le Mars, and KIWA Radio are giving away American flags in the days and hours leading up to Veterans Day. Keep listening to KIWA for the details.
Remember this Wednesday, November 11th, is Veterans’ Day. Honor our vets by displaying the flag.