Old Glory a symbol of those who have fought and died

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2001

Over the last few weeks, businesses, offices, churches and homes across the area have displayed Old Glory' proudly.

Many local retail outlets reportedly have been unable to keep up with the demand for American flags in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Many U.S. citizens love their country and the flag that represents it. However, not everyone knows the proper way to handle and display the flag.

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Here are some guidelines for the display and use (along with tips to avoid misuse) of The Stars and Stripes' based on the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10.

The flag should be displayed every day, unless there is foul weather, on or near the main administration building of every public institution.

The same rule holds true in or near every polling place on election day.

Every schoolhouse should also display the flag each day during the school year.

Whenever the flag is raised or lowered, those in attendance should face the flag and stand at attention with right hand over heart.

Flags should customarily be displayed only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open.

Under conditions demanding a strong show of patriotism, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day

as long as it is properly illuminated during nighttime hours.

Many citizens want to show off their national spirit through their vehicles. Be careful, though, the flag should NEVER be used as the covering for the monument or statue.

Flags should be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day until noon only, then raised to full-staff at noon.

Flags are flown at half-staff following the deaths of national and state government officials and on Peace Officer Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day.

When a flag is used to cover a casket, the union should be placed at the head and over the left shoulder.

The flag itself should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the earth.

The flag should NEVER be used or handled in the following ways: displayed upside down, allowed to touch anything beneath it, used as cover for a ceiling or carried flat or horizontally.

It is considered disrespectful to display or store the flag in such a manner as to allow it to be easily soiled torn or damaged.

It is not to be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.

It is considered defacement to alter a flag by adding any mark, insignia, letter, word or design of any nature to it.

Flags are not to be imprinted on paper napkins, boxes or any items meant for temporary use and discard.

Advertising signs should never be hung from a U.S. flag staff.

The flag should never be used for any type of advertising purposes.

(Companies, are you listening?)

The flag itself is not meant to be part of any costume or athletic uniform. The flag represents a living country and is therefore considered a living thing. When a lapel pin representing the flag is worn it should always be worn on the left near the heart.

One might ask: Does this mean that all the T-shirts, caps, sweaters and other garments with flag designs are forbidden?

No, indeed.

Wear your &uot;Stars and Stripes&uot; designs with pride

just don’t take your actual flag and attempt to transform it into apparel.

When a flag is no longer suitable for use due to age or wear and tear, it should not be simply discarded with the garbage.

Flags should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably in a ceremony involving burning.

Last, but certainly not least, here’s what you do when ‘Old Glory’ passes by during a parade. All citizens should stand and salute the flag as it passes, with gentlemen removing their headgear and holding it at the left shoulder, right hand over heart.

Non-citizens should simply stand at attention.

It’s your flag

honor it and treat it well.

Three cheers for the red, white and blue!