This Memorial Day weekend, an alert “06880” reader — who asks to be called “a local military vet” — is concerned that too many of us fly the American flag improperly. He writes:
I often see the flag hanging outside of houses in the dark and rain. The flag should traditionally be displayed only from sunrise to sunset. It may be displayed at all times if it is illuminated during darkness.
The flag should not be subject to weather damage, so it should not be displayed during rain, snow and wind storms, unless it is an all-weather flag.
When displayed on a float in a parade, it should be hung from a staff or suspended so it falls free. It should not be draped over a vehicle.
The flag should never touch anything beneath it (ground, floor, water, merchandise). It should not be carried horizontally — always aloft.
It should never be used on a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be attached to the uniform of patriotic organizations, military personnel, police officers and firefighters.
The flag should not be used for advertising or promotion purposes, or printed on napkins, boxes, or anything else intended for temporary use and then discarded.
When the flag passes in parade, Americans should stand at attention facing the flag, and place their right hand over their heart.
On Memorial Day, the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon.
The Westport veteran adds:
It may seem pedantic to spend time on properly displaying the flag.
But it is not. It is important.
In the time of Trump, with so much of the population in open resistance to our elected leadership, proper respect for the flag is a way to show our commitment to the country, not the president.
Commitment can be given meaning by the individual. It does not require any notions of national defense.
For what it’s worth, everyone who enters the military takes an oath to defend the Constitution — not the president.
(For the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ “Guidelines for Display of the Flag,” click here.)