09 February 2010

United States Flag Code

There are a lot of pictures going around of obama not rendering the proper posture during the singing or playing of the National Anthem. The other day the wife and i were watching the nascar race and when they played the National Anthem, i stood up and placed my hand over my heart. She looked at me like i was crazy. I told her that every American is supposed to stand at attention with their right hand over their heart when the National Anthem is played. She didn't believe me.

We googled it. We found a lot of peoples opinion about it. Some said to stand at attention and put your hands where you want them. One site said you only have to salute (hand over heart) during the Pledge of Allegiance. They are all wrong. I still remember being taught this in boot camp.

"The American Flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing" US flag code, sect. 8j

People in this country need to learn the proper posture to pay respect to our flag. There are so many violations to the flag code because people simply are ignorant. During the Superbowl, a giant flag was held by many people. This is a violation. obama doesn't salute during National Anthem, this is a violation. You can read the Flag Code here for yourself.

When an American recites the Pledge of allegiance, their hand should be over their heart.

When the National Anthem is played, American should have their hand over their heart unless they are in uniform.

When an American Flag passes you in a parade, active duty military will salute and veterans can salute, all others should stand and place their hand over their heart until the flag passes.

When the flag is hoisted or lowered, all active duty military will salute, veterans can salute, all other should stand with their hand over their heart.

Any man wearing non-religious head ware should place the head ware at their left shoulder, placing hand over their heart anytime a salute is needed for the flag.

Only the POTUS, a Governor, or the Mayor of Washington DC can order a flag to be flown at half mast.

The flag code is a codification of tradition and etiquette we must use. It is not law that is subject to criminal penalties. It is, however, a guideline as to how one should act to show proper respect for our flag.

A lot of people have heard that Texas is the only state that can fly its flag the same height as the American Flag. This is incorrect. All states can fly their flag at the same height provided they have separate staffs and the state flag is not in a position of prominence to the American Flag.

Read the flag code so you can correct the ignorance when you come across it.

1 comment:

Mulligan said...

I've heard all sorts of urban legends about TX state flag display since I started living here. People will line up on the street to shout at you, but no one has ever cited the state flag code to me as a source.

Federal Flag code section 7(e) 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.


(b) If the state flag and the flag of the United States are displayed on flagpoles or flagstaffs at the same location:

(1) the flags should be displayed on flagpoles or flagstaffs of the same height;

the federal code uses the words 'when a number of flags of states' while the state code addresses display when US flag and state flag are paired.

so US + TX flags are displayed at the same height. add another flag and the US flag must be higher than the 'group'.

I couldn't get anyone on the phone in the senators' offices that really seemed to care beyond agreeing with me so I'd go away.