By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
With today being Flag Day and having observed several people around town treating a flag contrary to proper flag etiquette rules, I felt the need to share the rules of etiquette for the American Flag.
I received the official rules for how civilians should handle the flag from the National Guard Armory here in town.
Some of the basics include:
?It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
?The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
?The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
?No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
?The flag should never be displayed with the union (blue part with stars) down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
?The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
?The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker?s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
?The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
?The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
?The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
?The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. (Personally, I would get in touch with the nearest American Legion Post or Boy Scout Troop, they can handle this for you.)
?During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart.
These rules of etiquette were taken from the Unites States Code 36, and more rules of flag etiquette can be found at www.usflagcode.org.uscode36.html.