Wednesday, May 6, 2015

How To Use Your Discount US Flags

By Toni Vang

The national flag is an instantly recognizable item. Even small kids know what it is and where it is used. As the national emblem of the USA, it is also recognized throughout the world. The characteristic red, white and blue is known everywhere on the planet. So, it might sound strange that discount US flags are sold at a lower price than others, since the design remains the same.

However, this is so. But what people should realize is that the flag remains as important as it always is, despite its lower price. As a national symbol, the flag has a special significance which requires a traditional etiquette. This isn't something that everyone may be familiar with but the fact that the flag was cheap does not detract from this requirement.

The temptation is to handle the flag, or any flag, like just another piece of fabric. This is a mistaken attitude. It is not handled or stored like other fabric, and people should be aware of that. National pride is the guiding principle here, so those who handle the national flag should remember that and stick to the rules about its handling.

They should not, at any time, allow the flag to touch the ground. This is strictly prohibited. When raising the flag onto its pole, or lowering it to store at night, or when carrying it, it must not have any contact with the ground. This is a mark of disrespect to the country and is extremely reckless conduct by those who are guilty of it.

Also, the flag should be folded as a flag should be, and not into the usual square flat shape like bed linen is. The proper way to fold a flag is to fold it gently into a narrow piece and then slowly roll it up into a tidy roll of fabric. The purpose of this is that it should not show creases when it's flown on the post.

The rules also determine how the flag is flown and at what times. There is a theory that the national flag is not permitted to fly at night. This is not completely correct. It may be flown at night, but only if there is proper lighting to show it to people.

If it is necessary to fly two flags in conjunction, and one of them is the national flag, the latter always goes on top. Officially, two posts are supposed to be used, but where only one is available, the national flag always has the superior position at the top of the post.

These rules might sound like mere tradition or custom, but they are not. They have been officially promulgated in the American Flag Code, a Public Law. This does not make their violation an offense, since the First Amendment permits freedom of expression concerning the national flag. But those who use the flag should always try to remember that it is important to the people of the nation. Disrespecting the flag can harm the country's image. If you want to use the national flag, you should first acquaint yourself with the provisions of the Code, and try to understand the principles that it embodies.

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