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Flag Day and Flag Etiquette

In my district Flag Day means Cub Scout Day Camp. Each year several hundred Cubs attend day camp which features first aid training; sports; outdoor activities; and a session on flag etiquette. One year they even did a flag retirement ceremony. It’s a great learning experience and great fun for the boys.

For Flag Day this year the Boy Scout site on BellaOnLine is offering a flag quiz. You might want to take the quiz before you read the rest of the article (unless you want to score higher on the quiz).

Flag etiquette is important because the flag is our national symbol. Displaying it properly is the obligation of all our citizens. Because I have been involved in Scouts for many years, I assume that everyone knows the basics for displaying the flag properly. But I have been to college graduations and even picture-taking ceremonies where the flags have been displayed improperly.

Some of the basics of good flag etiquette include:
• Whether in a procession with other flags, on flag poles of the same height or on a stage in an auditorium, the American flag is always on its own right. Some people believe that in a 3-pole configuration that the American flag should be in the middle, but that is not correct. If the center pole is higher, that is the proper display, but not if the poles are of equal height.
• When raising the flag in the morning, it should be raised briskly to the top of the pole. At night or when lowered, it should be brought down slowly.
• When raising the flag to half mast the flag is raised to the top of the pole and then lowered to half mast. When lowering a flag from half mast, it is raised to the top of the pole and then lowered.
• The flag may be displayed either horizontally or vertically on a wall. The union should always be in the upper right.
• Contrary to what is seen in daily life the flag should never be worn as a display or adornment on a T-shirt or other piece of clothing. Adding wording with the flag display (no matter how patriotic) is not proper.

To test your “not so common” flag knowledge, I’m posing two questions:
1. T or F. The flag only flies over the White House when the President is there.
2. Which state has never flown under a foreign flag?
The questions will be in the forum. See if you are the first to get the correct answers.

For more information on flag etiquette visit the site below.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Erik Moeller. All rights reserved.
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