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Union Community News: Respecting the Flag and Abiding by the United States Flag Code


As almost all Union residents know, the flag of the United States garners tremendous respect, and Union residents can express pride in their community for properly respecting the flag at the patriotic themed football game on Sept. 2. However, the Flag Code and proper flag etiquette  might be unclear to most Union residents. Therefore, in order to ensure all Union residents know how to properly respect the flag, everyone should know the tenants of the United States’ Flag Code.

While many of the tenants of the Flag Code may seem like common sense, some of them may surprise Union residents. First and foremost, no one should ever dip the flag to any person or anything, including other flags; other flags should always be dipped to honor the country’s flag. Secondly, no one should ever display the flag with the union down unless as a signal of dire distress or danger.

Matt Hennington

The union of the flag is the white stars on a blue background, and this part should always face up with the one exception. Moreover, as many people know, the flag should never touch anything under it—the ground, water, the floor, or anything else (Cornell Legal Information Institute). Many people also know that one should never carry the flag horizontally; one must always carry the flag “aloft and free” (Cornell Legal Information Institute). Furthermore, as a tenant most people probably do not know, the flag “should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery” (Cornell Legal Institute). This tenant also discusses how proper respect for the flag entails always allowing the flag to “fall free” instead of allowing it to fall back on itself (Cornell Legal Institute). When using the flag as a decoration, one should use a bunting of blue, white, and red with the blue on top, white in the middle, and red on the bottom. As a manner of common sense, no one should ever store the flag in a place where it would easily receive damage, and no one should use the flag as a covering for a ceiling (Cornell Legal Institute).

Moreover, no one should ever make any sort of drawing, mark, insignia or anything of that nature on the flag (Cornell Legal Institute), and no one should ever use it as a “receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything” (Cornell Legal Institute). Furthermore, as many people and business do not know, the flag “should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever” (Cornell Legal Institute), including American flag designs on cushions, napkins, boxes, and anything else meant for temporary use. Businesses also must never put an advertising sign to a flagpole that holds the United States’ flag. No one should also never use the flag as a part of a costume or athletic uniforms (Cornell Legal Institute), but “military personnel, firemen, policeman, and members of patriotic organizations” can have a flag patch “affixed” to their uniforms (Cornell Legal Institute).  For those who wear a flag lapel pin, they should always wear this on the left lapel close to the heart (Cornell Legal Institute). Finally, when the flag needs a retirement, the flag should “be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning” (Cornell Legal Institute).

Many people may not have known some parts of the Flag Code (I know I did not); no one can suffer a fault for that, but now, Union residents should know how to properly respect the flag. The United States’ flag is an important symbol of the country. Everyone around the world recognizes it, and as citizens of the United States, Union residents should know the Flag Code in order to be educated citizens. As a matter of fact, Union residents (at least, those who read this article) now know the tenants of the United States’ Flag Code, and everyone should respect the flag in this manner.

Send your Union community news to Matt Hennington  at [email protected]


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