Saturday, June 27, 2009

Photo Hunt------ Flags

The theme for this week's photo hunt is flag or in my case, flags. How often do you notice someone in violation of flag etiquette? When you do run across a breach of flag etiquette do you ignore it? Oh make the offending party aware of their mistake?

All of the photos from my collage where taken by me in the last few months. There are some that are treating the flag properly and others that are not. How many can you identify? Need help with the flag code to decide? Then continue reading. Below the code is a list of violations of the code that have been in the news in the last few years. I think you will find them interesting.

During these tough times and with our nation's birthday just around the corner we all want to display our flag with pride. But, lets do it correctly.

"No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America." Section 8
"The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing." Section 8j

Please enlarge to see all details.

American Flag Etiquette.

Federal law stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette. The section of law dealing with American Flag etiquette is generally referred to as the Flag Code. Some general guidelines from the Flag Code answer many of the most common questions:

The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.

The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.

The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.

The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.

The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.
The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Flag Code Violations in the News

January 19, 2009, Baltimore, MD. Flags overprinted with the new President's image and name are distributed to celebrate his inauguration. Section 8g of the Flag Code reads, "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature."

June 13, 2008, Byron Brown, the mayor of Buffalo, ordered all flags at city buildings lowered to half-staff in honor of news journalist Tim Russert (pictured). Section 7m authorizes the President, the Governor, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia to half-staff the US flag in certain circumstances. Can the mayor order the US flag to half-mast?

Reno, Nevada, October 2, 2007, the flagpole at a local bar displayed the Mexican flag above the US flag on the same flagpole. Section 7g reads, "When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace." Photo source: KRNV News 4
Can a foreign flag fly above the US flag?

Albania, June 10, 2007, the woman's flag is union out; the man is wearing flag shorts; his flag is touching the ground. Section 7h reads, "the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff." Section 8d reads, "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel." Section 8b reads, "The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground." Of course, the Flag Code doesn't apply in Albania. Photo credit: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

September 11, 2006, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush stand on a carpet of the American flag at Ground Zero in Manhattan, the site of the September 11, 2001 attack. Section 8b of the Flag Code reads, " The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground..." Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

April 2006, protesters hold a US flag union down to protest pending federal legislation, in Costa Mesa, California. Section 8a. "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." Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images/David McNew
Is it okay to display the flag upside down in protest?

Super Bowl 2004, Janet Jackson's "costume malfunction" made international news; that same half-time show featured the wearing of an American flag by performer Kid Rock. He later removed the flag poncho and hurled it over his head. Section 8d. reads, "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel."

In July 2003 President Bush autographed a small flag. This picture was circulated across the Internet noting its violation of the Flag Code: "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature."

Now how many errors did you find in my collage? If you attend a holiday party this july 4th and the hostess provides plates with a replica of our flag on them what would you do? Use them and say nothing or ask for a different plate?

To join in the fun or just enjoy all of this weeks shots visit


  1. WOW!! Very very interesting. Thank you for sharing the history.

    Happy PH
    Cindy O

  2. Very good, you have a mountain of info here. :)

  3. Gosh! That is a lot of rules!

  4. awesome displays of the American flag!! it's nice to see all the information about the flag as well...something we need to always remember!

  5. Love, LOVE! your collage.

    Mine flag is posted. Stop by, won't you?

  6. Um, let's see...not to be worn(violated several times),not to be used as a decoration(more than once), I'm sure all of the flags were not lighted, at least 1 is tattered, not positive, but I'm guessing the lawnchairs went against some guideline;)

    About the plates...given the spirit of the holiday...I'd probably use it...all in celeration of our great nation!!!

    Have a Safe and Happy 4th!

  7. Rita I didn't participate in Photohunt but I appreciate all the info you posted about the American flag! :)

  8. I have seen all of these but never really knew the laws. Obviously these are not enforced are they... Thanks for the lesson.
    My flags are here.


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