We are coming up on the 4th of July … it’s the perfect time to show your patriotism by flying the American flag.
I have great memories of being a Cub Scout leader when my son was younger. One of my favorite memories was of one den meeting where we were working on an achievement about honoring and respecting the American flag. I had gotten prior approval from the principal to use the flagpole in front of the school where we held our meetings. The janitor met us at the flagpole and showed us how to properly raise and lower the flag. We had just talked about flag etiquette guidelines and how it shouldn’t touch the ground. Each 1st grade boy was to get a turn either hoisting or lowering the flag. I divided the den up into teams of 2 and had the team with a particularly shy and reserved boy go first, knowing he would back out if left until the end. He was doing so well until he accidentally dropped it while trying to get it hooked onto the rope. Of course, one of the more mean spirited boys called him a rude name and the shy boy burst into tears …
Here are a couple of the main guidelines (nutshell version):
• Always hang the flag with the blue field of stars in the upper left hand corner – whether hanging vertically or horizontally
• The flag should only be displayed during daylight hours … unless it is illuminated, (like a spotlight shining on it)then it can be displayed in the dark
• The flag should be folded in a triangle for ceremonial purposes or to display on the mantle. It can be folded into a normal square shape for ordinary storage
The etiquette guidelines I’ve shared are very simple and basic. You can read the very detailed, official rules here.