FYI: Proper flag uses per Public Law 93-344

From: Kent Borg <>
Date: Mon Sep 24 08:33:00 2001

On Sun, Sep 23, 2001 at 04:48:41PM -0700, Eric J. Korpela wrote:
> I went to a public school in Wisconsin. We were taught how to display
> the flag in grade school (in the 70s). IMHO, anyone patriotic enough to
> display the flag should be patriotic enough to take it down at night, to
> keep it out of the rain, and to wrap it properly when it is disposed of.
> It's not going to be a symbol that commands respect if US citizens don't
> treat it with respect. Nobody here younger than 70 seems to be aware that
> there are any guidelines at all.

Thanks for posting that, and thanks for the pointer to the flag
etiquette. Tattered flags plastered to wet flagpoles in the dark
aggravate me.

I'm well under 70, and I am feeling like I am not patriotic because I
have only been flying our flag on days that I am assured will not
rain, and when I remember to out it out before rushing off to work
with no breakfast. I am thinking I should rig a light for it so that
I would only have to worry about weather and can put it out after
daylight savings time is over.

Did I line up to buy this flag after the attack? No. Several years
ago, after I bought my house, I saw the flag bracket bolted to the
front porch and decided I should have a flag for it. I mostly don't
fly it there but leave it in a stand indoors because I want to show
proper respect. So it isn't even worn out. I didn't need to buy a
new one out of sudden patriotism, I already had one that is in fine

I don't do this because of some law, I do it because it is a powerful
symbol that is important to me. It is an important form of speech for
me to so care for it. In fact, I do not think there should be a law
dictating respect to our flag. Rather, people who care should show
their respect because they care. I would far rather there be few
flags flying, but flags that fly proudly and with respect and
ceremony. Instead we have them everywhere and everyway as though
quantity is somehow the point.

A couple years ago I was at an event that included "proper" disposal
of some flags. It was poorly done. Squirting some lighter fluid on a
synthetic flag that then melted and went out, and then again for the
next flag that did the same, each falling into the metal trash can.
It did not seem very dignified--even if the guy doing it was a veteran
with a funny hat and a cigarette lighter. The people who burn flags
in protest have a far better understanding of the power of the symbol,
and in a strange reversed way somehow seem to show it more respect
than those who treat it with sloppy disregard. At least the
protesters frequently manage to have the flag go out in a blaze and
not a dim smudge of nasty smoke.

-kb, the Kent who remembered to notice the weather prediction and put
out his flag this morning, but the Kent who forgot to do so yesterday.
Received on Mon Sep 24 2001 - 08:33:00 BST

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