This Saturday, June 14th, marks National Flag Day, a day that commemorates the adoption of the U.S. Flag back in 1777. In 2011, President Obama extended the Flag Day festivities to Flag Week. In a proclamation as mandated by Congress in 1949, Obama declared June 14th Flag Day and the week in which it lands as National Flag Week. On June 14, 1777, the Second Constitutional Congress adopted the first United States flag which included 13 stripes and 13 stars to represent our nation, one star for each of our founding colonies. In order to properly celebrate Flag Day and Flag Week, there are some important etiquette tips you’ll need to know to fly your flag in the most honorable and respectful way. USflag.org explains:
Displaying the Flag Outdoors:
-The flag should always be flown at the top of a flag pole, unless being flown purposefully at half staff. When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top.
-When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.
-When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right. The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
-The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
Raising and Lowering the Flag:
The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.
The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem:
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting. When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.