One thing we see too often that irritates us is the sight of an American flag that is soiled, faded, even torn and need of an honorable retirement — particularly when it is being flown at one of our government installations.
Old Glory is a symbol that reminds us of our nation’s greatness and the spirit of our people, and we should treat it that way. We should display it with respect, devotion and care, and we set aside each June 14 in its honor — Flag Day.
Many of us fly the flag not just on special days, but every day. Here are a few rules for displaying and handling the flag:
It is always hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
It is never allowed to touch the floor or the ground. It should never be drawn back or held in folds, but always allowed to fall freely.
It is never flown in inclement weather, except when using an all-weather flag. If flown at night, it should be properly illuminated.
When displayed from a car, it should be firmly clamped to the vehicle, ideally on the right side. It should never have placed upon it any insignia, letter, word, picture or drawing of any nature.
When no longer fit for display, the flag should be destroyed in a dignified way, by burning.
Each Flag Day, Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion in Cumberland stages an unserviceable flag retirement ceremony at the post. This year’s service will be held today at 8 p.m., and it is open to the public.
The post accepts unserviceable American flags all year long and retires them with suitable honor, including prayer. Refreshments will be served in the post home afterward.