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The American Flag: Handling, Display & Disposal

June 14 is Flag Day and if you don’t already own a U.S. flag then this weekend is the perfect time to find one you like and wave it with pride.</br></br>Flag Day is a pretty straightforward day of observance: It’s set aside for celebrating the adoption of the U.S. flag in 1777 and was made official in 1916 by Woodrow Wilson – although first suggestions for having a nationally recognized Flag Day go back some 50 years earlier.</br></br>Nevertheless, we’re giving all the credit to Woodrow. Accepted flag decorum, though, is something that has been established over many years and attitudes about etiquette vary to this day.</br></br>Even so, there are some widely accepted rules and it is these that will keep you in good standing with your neighbors.</br></br><strong>U.S. Flag Handling</strong></br></br>Don’t ever burn or step on the <a title="American Flags" href="http://www.atgstores.com/outdoor/curb-appeal/flags-flagpoles/flags/theme/american-flags/" target="_blank">U.S. flag</a>. Those are the most important rules on flag handling, and the only rules that matter for a lot of people. But, there are a few others of note:</br></br>- Don’t let it touch the ground</br>- Fold it neatly before storing it</br>- Keep it clean</br>- Keep it in good condition and mend well when necessary</br></br>There are several other more rigid rules (e.g. never dip the flag to a person or thing), but the above are the highlights.</br></br><strong>U.S. Flag Display</strong></br></br>Most people display their American flag flat, on a staff or on a flagpole. When using a <a title="Flagpoles" href="http://www.atgstores.com/outdoor/curb-appeal/flags-flagpoles/flagpoles/" target="_blank">staff or flagpole</a>, the canton (blue part) should be positioned at the top corner flush with the peak, and when draped flat the canton should be at the top-left corner. Other tips:</br></br>- Always place the U.S. flag above all others</br>- In a line, place the flag to its own right</br>- Avoid displaying the flag in any other way (e.g. as clothing, decoration, etc.)</br></br>These rules also apply to mini flags and pins.</br></br><strong>U.S. Flag Disposal  </strong></br></br>Remember when we said you should never burn an American flag? Well, about that …</br></br>This is actually the proper way to dispose of a flag, but there are some caveats:</br></br>- First, fold the flag</br>- Build a fire big enough to completely consume the flag</br>- Once burned, bury the ashes</br></br>People often salute, come to attention and/or say the Pledge of Allegiance as part of the ceremony, but it is not traditionally required.</br></br>Now that you know, you can hoist your new American flag on Flag Day and take care of it like a true patriot.
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