(July 2, 2013)--Federal guidelines have been put in place to ensure proper handling of Old Glory and residents should follow them.
While there is currently no federal punishment for violating the U.S. Flag Code, a Senate joint resolution introduced in 2011 by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was reintroduced last month that proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing Congress and the states to prohibit the act of desecration of the flag of the United States and to set criminal penalties for that act.
Care of the flag varies some whether being displayed indoors or outdoors.
For outdoor use, the following are some guidelines that often go ignored, according to USA Flag Site.
First, the American Flag should be lighted at all times either by direct sunlight or a spotlight. This, of course, includes at night.
Unless specifically designed for inclement weather, the flag should only be flown in fair weather.
It is permissible for a flag to be flown upside-down, however, this should only be done as a distress signal.
The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose, for instance, printed on handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use and should never be used as part of a costume, athletic uniform, (or any apparel) except a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
According to the U.S. Flag Code, “the flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.”
The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything and when the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object beneath it.
It should then be folded ceremoniously.
Also, the flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
Just as important, when a flag gets ripped and cannot be mended, or is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.
It should also be properly retired if it touches the ground.
The flag, when carried in a parade or procession with another flag, should be either on the marching right (the flag's own right) or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line. Similarly, the American Flag should at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs, according to USA Flag Site.
Additional flag resources can be found below.