Tuesday, 22 June 2010

"And the Home of the Brave!"...

This year for Memorial Day, I purchased an American Flag and mounting bracket from a CVS store for about $20.  I am so glad that I did.  I really think too many people in my parents and in my generation have fallen away from displaying the flag on the most notable flag days of Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. 

Having said that, I remember as a little girl, my Grandmother putting the flag out for “Flag Days”. I had no idea why those days were “Flag Days”—they just were for some reason.

While I was reviewing the instructions for the assembly, mounting, and displaying of the flag—I also noticed the calendar of “Flag Days”.  I have included those dates in a list below, along with recommendations for flag displaying etiquette.  My challenge to all Americans who read this is the following:

1.) Ensure that you have permission to display your flag.  There are some housing developments and subdivisions that do not permit flags or other ornamentation to be mounted on the house or yard without permission from the housing development or subdivision.  I would challenge you to have the language of those local covenants amended to permit the displaying of a flag.  I imagine if hard pressed you could garner the support of your local news channel to cover the story of not being able to display an American flag.

2.) Purchase and display the flag. I found an inexpensive one at CVS, but I imagine other stores such as Lowes, Menards, or Wal-Mart are likely to sell them too.

3.) Put reminders in your calendar to remind you to fly your flag on the nationally recognized flag days.

Last Thoughts...
I can tell you, that whenever I see a flag being displayed on a home, it gives the home character and is really heartwarming.  If you are trying to sell your home, this also might be a way to make your home more distinctive and appealing to a buyer.

I hope you all enjoy your flag, and find the “Flag Days” to be more meaningful.  We are lucky to have the freedoms and privileges that America offers, and those came at a significant price.  America is the "Home of the Brave!"

Calendar of Flag Days

New Years Day-January 1st

Martin Luther King Day-3rd Monday in January

Inauguration Day-January 20th (Every 4 years)

Lincoln's Birthday-February 12th

President's Day-3rd Monday in February

Washington's Birthday-February 22nd

Easter Sunday-(Date varies)

Army Day-April 6th

V-E Day-May 8th

Mother's Day-2nd Sunday in May

Armed Forces Day-3rd Sunday in May

Memorial Day-Last Monday in May (Half staff until noon)

Flag Day-June 14th

Father's Day-3rd Sunday in June

Independence Day-July 4th

Labor Day-First Monday in September

Patriot Day-September 11th

Constitution Day-September 17th

Columbus Day-2nd Monday in October

Navy Day-October 27th

Election Day-1st Tuesday in November

Veteran's Day-November 11th

Thanksgiving Day-4th Thursday in November

Pearl Harbor Day-December 7th

Christmas Day-December 25th

American Flag Etiquette

-Display 24 hours if properly illuminated during dark hours.

-It may be displayed with other Flags, but it should have the highest position of honor in relation to the other flags.

-The flag should always be positioned all the way to the top of the flag pole, unless flying at half staff.

-The proper way to move the flag to half staff is to first raise it to the top of the pole, then lower it to half staff. *Memorial Day should be half staff until noon, and the raised to the top for the remainder of the day.

Avoid Disrespectful and Distressing Conditions for the Flag
-Do not display the flag upside down!! (This is widely understood to be a signal of distress--a notification of a dangerous or life threaten situation. Example: a hostage situation/cry for help.**)

**I once called the Chicago police for a flag flying upside down at a post office. It turned out to be a problem with the suspension ropes. The police investigated the situation, and called in the Post Office Leadership to have the flag corrected immediately. This all occurred on a Sunday afternoon, and the post office was not open.  I imagine the Post Office Leadership was not pleased with this situation.

-Do not allow the flag to touch anything beneath it such as the flow, soil, water or other object.  It should be free to fly from obstruction or entanglement.

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