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Rosie on the House

Updated May 20, 2015 - 3:43 pm

5 flag-flying guidelines to show your colors this Memorial Day

May 25 is Memorial Day — a time for all Americans to display our great flag in honor of U.S. military members who died for our country.

Here are a few thoughts and reminders about displaying the flag with respect at your homes.

1) Can I fly the flag in inclement weather?

You can display your flag in inclement weather if it’s made of all-weather material, like nylon, for example. During Arizona’s monsoon season, you want to make sure your flag doesn’t get blown out of the bracket that may be mounted on your house. Buy a sturdy bracket, preferably one with a screw that can be tightened on the flagpole to hold it in place.

2) What if I don’t have a pole or equipment for flying our flag?

If you don’t have equipment for flying the flag, you can still display it against a wall or in a window. Attach it to the wall so that the stripes are displayed either horizontally or vertically and so that the blue union square with the stars is positioned at the top, on your left, as you or someone outside your house looks at the flag.

3) Can I fly my flag at night?

It is a universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on flag poles/staffs that are outside. However, it can be on view 24 hours a day if properly lighted at nighttime.

4) What happens if my flag touches the ground?

You are not supposed to let a flag touch the ground. But if this happens accidentally, you do not have to destroy the flag provided it is not damaged. Mildly soiled flags can be washed or dry-cleaned if necessary.

5) What if my flag is old, damaged and needs to be retired?

A flag may eventually become soiled or tattered when often displayed outdoors. According to the U.S. Flag Code, it must then be destroyed respectfully, preferably by burning. Should this be the case, a local VFW Post, or American Legion Post can assist you in properly retiring the flag.

We’ve taken many of these guidelines directly from the official U.S. Flag Code. There also is a long list of national holidays and important dates when it is traditional to display the flag. We encourage all Arizonans to fly our American Flag high and proud this weekend — and to spend time remembering all the brave men and women who have died serving and protecting our great country and the freedom we all enjoy.

As always, be sure to tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!


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