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Respect the Flag

While reflecting on the events of September 11, 2001, and looking around our fair town at the various displays of patriotism, we realized that citizens of our town do not understand or know flag etiquette.

We are sure that this is the case, for surely if they knew better, we would not see our state and national flags displayed in the shameful fashion that is prevalent in Andalusia.

The following are some rules from a booklet entitled Our Flag that is published by Congress.

*When the flag is displayed during rendition of the National Anthem or recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.

*It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open.

However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

*The flag should be hoisted 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.

*The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.

*The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.

*The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the

highest point of the group when a number of flags of states or localities, or

pennants of societies, are grouped and displayed from staffs.

*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.

*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.

*The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

We

challenge the citizens of Andalusia to take these rules and others to heart.

Proper respect for the symbols of our heritage, the symbols that men and women have bled and died for, is crucial to maintaining reverence and pride in our nation.

We also challenge the civic groups of Andalusia to use their resources to teach all our young people flag etiquette.

It is a shame that it took a national tragedy such as the events of September 11, 2001, to draw these things to our attention but now that we realize our shortcomings, let's not pass them along to our children.

Once the events 9-11-01 are but recollections of grandparents and old folks, it will be the traditions that we teach our children that keep patriotism alive.

Jeff & Mary Cross

Andalusia