This year is the 72nd year since Congress passed and President Harry S. Truman signed the Act of Congress officially making June 14 as National Flag Day. Prior to that, the day was celebrated through a series of efforts by educators.
June 14 is the anniversary of the actual adoption of the The Stars and Stripes as our official flag. The move to recognize it as Flag Day came about in 1885 by BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, in Fredonia, Wisconsin.
The move caught on and it spread across the country with The Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia holding a Flag Day celebration in 1891. By 1894, all the public schools in Philadelphia were marking the day and holding programs with songs and addresses made about the flag.
Illinois started the American Flag Day Association for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises which led to the 1894 celebration of Flag Day in Chicago spread across several parts and more than 300,000 children in attendance.
Since 1777, when Congress adopted an official flag for our country, we have displayed the flag at numerous events and in numerous ways. It is a powerful symbol for the citizens of the United States
The American Legion has played an important role in establishing the standards of flag etiquette since before the passing of the first national Flag Codes in 1923 and has worked diligently to uphold these historical standards and flown widely both on public and private displays. . Today, much of flag etiquette can be found in the U.S. Flag Code, official national rules regarding the American flag.
The American Legion Auxiliary proudly supports the Legion by promoting proper flag displays and etiquette. The ALA encourages all to follow the proper etiquette in displaying flag. There are many resources available to find out how this should be done.
Two sites include: alaforveterans.org and usflag.org. The American Legion and ALA also are good resources. The ALA encourages all of us to display the US flag and celebrate all that is means along with respecting what it stands for.
This article used information from the USFlag.org and ALA as resources and encourages you all to reference those sites for additional information.
American Flag Etiquette: STANDARDS of RESPECT
The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:
The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
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, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
When a flag 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.