Millions of Americans dutifully display the flag to help them celebrate our summer holidays such as Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.  Throughout my own neighborhood I’ve watched some let their flags fly as our tropical wind and rain batters them while others are quick to remove them at the first signs of moisture.  And night fall – do we leave it on the pole for the entire holiday weekend or bring it down each night?  If you’re unsure, you’re not alone.

Proper flag etiquette discourages us to display the flag during inclement weather to avoid wearing it more quickly than necessary.  However, you can purchase all-weather flags for use when needed.  When a flag is so worn that it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Ordinarily, the flag should only be displayed between sunrise and sunset.  If you choose to leave it up all weekend, it should be illuminated when displayed at night.  It should look like high noon on my block.

No other flag should be placed above it when hanging others with it – not your favorite hockey team (even if they are the Florida Panthers), not puppies or kittens, or the symbol of the Romulan cloaking device.

Always display the flag with the blue union field up – never upside down except as a signal of extreme distress.  EXTREME distress – not that I still haven’t found a literary agent.

Although I made light of it, our American Flag deserves our utmost respect.  You can learn more at www.usflag.org.

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