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home : blogs_old : butch’s brew May 23, 2016

Butch’s Brew
By Butch Meriwether
The subjects of this blog will be diversified, sometimes cute or funny and hopefully, will address interesting subjects. However, there may be times when I believe a particular subject needs to be “championed” and addressed. I hope my blogs will inform, inspire emotion and to cause people to think. If you want to contact me other than through comments to my blogs, I can be reached by emailing me at butchsbrew@frontier.com.
Sunday, March 3, 2013

Display Old Glory properly and let all know you're full of pride and patriotism

Butch Meriwether

This flag is a prime example of residents wanting to show their American Spirit and pride in our Nation by flying the Stars and Stripes, but forgetting to take it down when its condition becomes not fit to be flown. It is conservatively estimated that more than half of the American flags being flown in Mohave County should have already been replaced due to being worn and tattered.

I not trying to embarrass anyone, but a bunch of my friends and acquaintances attended a political fundraising dinner the other night in Kingman and no one noticed the American flag was located in the wrong position. There was even one U.S. Congressman, an Arizona State Senator, an Arizona State Representative and even Arizona State Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham in attendance, in addition to numerous local elected officials and dignitaries. I guess everyone was having so much fun visiting with each other, they didn't notice the improper placement of the American flag. I didn't attend the event, but when I saw a photo someone that had posted on Facebook with the flag in the background, I immediately knew it was wrong. Since there may some lingering questions about the proper display of the American flag, I decided to post the commentary I wrote about a while back.

I don't know about you, but during my various treks throughout Mohave County during 2012, it's become paradoxical in that I have noticed many people wanting to show their pride by choosing to fly the Stars and Stripes, but many of them are unknowingly violating the provisions of the U.S. Flag Code.

Many patriotic Mohave County residents have been hoisting American flags to show their support, respect and their pride in America. However after "running" the flag up their poles, it is sad they quickly forget they are there.

When people choose to fly the American flag, they must remember no disrespect should be shown to the flag of the Untied States of America.

Old Glory is the great emblem and symbol of our nation and the essence of freedom. It represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.

This U.S. Flag Code is the guide for all handling and display of the Stars and Stripes. It does not impose penalties for misuse of the United States Flag. Basically there are no flag police, but common sense should and must prevail.

Torn and tattered

The biggest violation of flag etiquette observed within Mohave County is when individuals, county buildings and businesses choose to fly the flag when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display. This is the time when Old Glory should be replaced with a fresh new one and the tattered flag destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

You personally don't have to destroy the old, tattered flag. Most service agencies and fraternal organizations within Mohave County are willing to provide a fitting disposal of all American, state and POW flags.

Proper display

There are some basic laws covered in the United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1 that govern how the American flag should be displayed.

• It is the universal custom to only display the flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flag poles in the open. However, when an individual wants to fly the flag 24 hours a day to show his or her patriotism, it should be properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. That doesn't mean you have to have a 500 watt light shining on it; it just says it should be properly illuminated.

• When the flag is hoisted onto a flag pole, it should be run up 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 other flag or pennant should be placed above, or if on the same level, to the right of the American flag. The American flag should always be flown in the superior prominence of honor. An example of properly displaying the flag is if a person is looking toward a building, stage or podium, then the American flag should be displayed on the left.

• If the flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony or front of a building, the union or blue portion of the flag should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half mast.

• If the flag is to be flown in the half-staff position, it should be hoisted completely up to the top of the flag pole for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. When the flag is to be taken down at sunset, it should be hoisted to the top of the flag pole prior to being lowered for the day.

• On Memorial Day, the flag should be displayed at the half-staff position only until noon, and then raised to the top of the flag pole.

Old Glory at half-staff

There has been numerous questions recently as to who can actually authorize the flying of Old Glory at half-staff.

According to the Flag Code, the president of the United States, a state's governor and/or the mayor of the District of Columbia are the only individuals authorized to order the U.S. flag lowered to half-staff.

If everyone were to half-staff Old Glory at will, the symbolic value of that honor would be lost. Another option is to display black crepe near the entrance to your building, perhaps with a photograph of the former mayor, firefighter, police officer, etc.

The president is authorized to half-staff the U.S. flag by proclamation upon the death of principal figures of the U.S. government and the governor of a state, territory or possession, as well as in the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries.

The Flag Code authorizes a governor to half-staff the U.S. flag upon the death of a present or former official of the government of the state, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from that state who dies while serving on active duty. The mayor of a city is not authorized to direct Old Glory to be flown at half-mast, and a school isn't authorized to fly their American flag at half-mast for a former student that may have been killed in war.

As previously stated, only the president, the governor of a state and the mayor of the District of Columbia are the individuals authorized to make that decision.

There is only one place Old Glory is never half-mast and that is on the moon.

Many recommend that if an employee of a city passes away and or a former student of a school passes away in combat, the city or school flags should be flown at half-staff in remembrance of that individual.

Window hangings

When the flag is displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union to the left of the observer in the street.

If the flag is to be displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north on an east-to-west street and to the east on a north-to-south street.

The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

Do's and don'ts

• The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.

• The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

• The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery, and the flag should never have placed upon it, or on any part of it, any mark, insignia, letter, work, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature.

• The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

I know some might question the two aforementioned statements because there are numerous articles of clothing fashioned or designed after Old Glory and they're various alleged patriotic items, but that does not make it technically legal because someone has the item for sale. Yes, there are various American flags for sale that have drawings and other designs on them and they are for sale, but that also doesn't make them legal.

• 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 be used as a covering for a ceiling.

• When a flag is displayed on a car, the staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis and clamped to the right fender.

• The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering of anything.

• No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.

• The flag is considered a living thing, therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

• When Old Glory is used to cover a casket, it should be done so with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should be noted that the flag should not be lowered into the grave or be allowed to touch the ground.

• During a ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when a flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present other than those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over their heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute.

When not in uniform, individuals should remove their hat and hold it over their hearts with their right hand. The salute to the flag in a moving column or parade should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

Veterans go ahead and salute the flag today or any other day it passes you in a parade or celebration, even if you're not in uniform. A change in the U.S. Flag Code now allows both active and former servicemen and women to salute the flag without wearing uniforms and a hat.

However, for those veterans and active servicemen and women who prefer not to salute Old Glory while they are out of uniform, they should still stand at attention, remove their hat and place their right hand over their heart.

And last but not least, when our residents choose to fly Old Glory, they should display it properly and let all know they are full of pride and patriotism.

For further information about Old Glory and the proper respect it so justly deserves, visit http://www.aflag.com/us_code.asp.

God bless America, our civilians and our present and former service personnel who are now or have been stationed around the world defending freedom so we can enjoy it on a daily basis.

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, April 1, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Missed the response by Butch...but here's the info...

"There is only one place Old Glory is never half-mast and that is on the moon."

One of the flags HAS fallen..knocked over by the exhaust from the lunar ascent module most likely.

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

V Stokes, go ahead and do it. Thbere are many people who don't know the answer and it was hidden inside the blog.

Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Hey Butch...should I just post the answer here?

Or should I just say it's a place where most people won't travel?

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: Someone's full of it

All these rules & suggestions are mainly observed by Military & Governmental personnel. Most private individuals do not observe all of the details. As for flag designs in clothing, that is sold at every major store in Kingman and has been worn by most entertainers and quite a few politicians, remember when I saw Sarah Palin for only time she wore a flag top that almost blinded.
I am all for respect for the flag, but maybe I am more disturbed because in last few months I have seen behavior amongst citizens that are trending towards a civil war, actual armed conflict suggested from right and left. Another civil war will stain our flag more than any Tshirt. A lot of people are angry due to recent losses due to theft in our area, or conversely the banks.. I have contacted the justice department and named names of local dissenters. I will side with the US Gov against any rebellion even if they are left or right leaning, makes no difference. If I have a flag when shot, hope someone behind me picks it up.

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: mike malysz

thanks for the info butch. maybe you should send this to bo

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Dr. GS Hurd

The display of tattered flags was the consequence of a post 9-11 display. Some how this was perverted into the current display of rags.

As a Christian, these nationalist displays violate the Bible's instruction to find all humanity as equal "brothers." But, as a cold war baby, I still have a modicum of disdain for rags displayed as flags.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Dr. GS Hurd

As a quaker, I don't worship flags or any other work of mankind. But, I do respect the substance hidden behind the symbols.

In this regard, I am in full agreement with Butch Meriwether. I find it particularly irritating that these so-called patriots seem to take pride in abusing national symbols. This is even true when I regret the deadly divisions they cause amongst humanity.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

I'll give everyone a hint to my question and that's there are six flags at one location where the Old Glory is never flown at half staff. Before anyone says it, it is not it is not Six Flags Magic Mountain. As a matter of fact, here is another clue it isn't within the boundaries of the Continental United States, Hawaii or Alaska.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

I would like to add some info to Butchs' blog.

Annin flags are made in the USA and are available at WM or online. Their "Tough-Tex" line will normally last about a year in the winds we have here. Not sure if Wally World carries that year round, but I did see the smaller ones around the 4th. A 3 x 5 will run around $25 on Amazon and qualifies for free shipping. Make sure of the supplier, as some will send a cheaper Chinese made flag if you aren't specific. You can get them direct from Annin if you select the seller correctly.

The VFW downtown (as well as most Vet organizations, as mentioned) will accept old flags for proper disposal year-round. You need to call for their hours.

Hope this helps.

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