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Letter: American Flag Etiquette

As Memorial Day approaches, it is important that organizations and individuals, including many of our elected officials, be reminded that there is a Federal Flag Code (Public Law 94-344) that was passed by the 94th Congress (1975-1977) as a guide for handling and displaying the United States Flag. All too often, lately, I see the American Flag positioned incorrectly in a parade or behind someone during an interview on television or pictured in the newspaper.  As per Public Law 94-344, Rule #10 states “When carried in a parade front with other flags, the U.S. Flag should be always to the marching right of the other flags, or to the front and center of the flag line.” Rule #35 states that when displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the U.S. Flag should be to the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he/she faces the audience. Any other flag should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience. And finally, Rule #26 states that on Memorial Day the Flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.  Any organization or individual who may have a question about United States Flag etiquette should contact their local Veteran’s organization with their question. Many Veterans organizations have individuals who, if invited, would be able to give a presentation as to the etiquette of our “Stars and Stripes”.

William G. Walden

Commander, Hicksville Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3211