Friday, May 23, 2008

Honoring the Flag

In honor of this Memorial Day weekend I decided to blog about one of the most prominent symbols of our country - our flag.

Our country has a very special attachment to its flag. Only the U.S. has a national pledge of allegiance to the flag and a national anthem that honors it.

The original design included a stripe for each of the 13 original colonies and a star for each state. As states have been added, the star pattern has changed—most recently in l960, when Hawaii became the 50th state.

Home and businesses began to display the flag only after the Civil War, and since then, a code of etiquette has been developed about the handling and hanging of a flag.

On Memorial Day, for example, you should raise flag all the way to the top of the pole, then lower it halfway and leave it there until noon. A flag at half-mast is always a sign of mourning.

When it’s hung over a street, the stars should face east (on a north/south street) or north (on an east-west street). In a window, it should be hung vertically, with the stars to the left of anyone viewing it from the street.