Happy Independence Day weekend, everyone! This weekend (or Monday, as it were), we celebrate our freedom. Our freedom to say what we choose, our freedom to decide what we want to do with our lives and our freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I wanted to write a little post about the symbol of our freedom. The symbol of our country: The American Flag. This is a modified post of what I wrote last year on my personal blog, but it is something that I think needs to be more widely known (and practiced).
Most of you know that there are rules regarding how the flag should be displayed, but did you know there are other rules regarding the flag itself as well? I think it is important for all citizens to know–and follow–the rules governing their flag. I see a lot of people disrespecting our flag and it makes my heart hurt. I think a lot of people take freedom for granted (not necessarily military folks… we know the sacrifices) and even more take the symbol of our freedom and country for granted.
And what, exactly is defined as a flag? It is a flag or anything “by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe to represent the flag.” So basically, if you see something and you think it’s meant to represent the flag, then that “thing” is considered a flag and is to be treated according to the Flag Code.
These rules are all covered under the Flag Code, but here are some highlights:
- No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America.
- The flag presents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.
- The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
- The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery (Editor’s note: yes, this means the flag bikinis and towels!). It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.
- The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes.
- The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed upon articles such as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes or anything to be discarded after temporary use.
- The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.
- The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.
I think the worst instances I’ve seen are flag flip-flops. When those are worn, the person is literally walking on our flag. Wow.
So if you are proud to live in America, please please PLEASE don’t disrespect the symbol of our nation by using our flag in any way other than flying it high and proud. And if you are NOT proud to live in America… well, please feel free to move to Canada. Or North Korea. Yes, North Korea would be good… there you’d enjoy a dictatorship and country that is based on a class system with no hope of bettering yourself.