The flag and the weather

It has been brought to our attention that some people are leaving their flags out all hours of the day and all kinds of weather, so we thought a little flag ettiquette may be appropriate.

According to the official United States Flag Code, previous to Flag Day, June 14, 1923, there were no federal or state regulations governing display of the American flag.

So on that date, the National Flag Code was adopted by the National Flag Conference, which was attended by representatives of the Army and Navy and some 66 other national groups. The purpose of the code was to provide guidance based on the Army’s and Navy’s procedures relating to displaying the flag.

A few minor changes were made a year later during the Flag Day 1924 Conference, but it was not until June 22, 1942 that Congress passed a joint resolution which was amended on Dec. 22, 1942, for the Flag Code to become public law.

According to the code, the universal custom is 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 code said, the flag may be displayed 24-hours hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

In addition, the flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement. An exception to this, the code says, is when the flag is made of material condusive to all kinds of weather.

In addition, the code states the flag should be displayed on all days, especially on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1; Inauguration Day, Jan. 20; Lincoln’s Birthday, Feb. 12; Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February; Easter Sunday; Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Constitution Day, Sept. 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October; Navy Day, Oct. 27; Veterans Day, Nov.11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day, Dec.25; and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of states’ date of admission; and on state holidays.

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

Let’s keep our American flags flying and respected.