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Bits & Pieces -- June 10

Monday, June 14 is Flag Day. There is a program being held at East Side Park in Morris at 6 p.m., sponsored by Learning Unlimited. If possible try to attend, it is a very meaningful program. Flag Day was first authorized on June 14, 1777.

So I decided to use my column to write some more about flag etiquette. I don't believe we can learn enough.

First of all, there is a Flag Code which is not a law, but a code meant to show us how our flag is to be treated and honored. The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which to give respect to the flag, also contains specific information on how the flag is NOT to be used. They are...

• The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.

• The flag should not be used as drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

• The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

• The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform except that a flag patch my be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.

• The flag should never have placed on, or attached to, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.

• The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

And when the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store a flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended as necessary.

When the flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Note: The American Legion Post in Morris regularly conducts a dignified flag burning ceremony. If you have a worn flag and are wondering what to do with it, take it to the Legion in Morris or to a member and they will take care of it for you.

And a personal note, shirts, skirts, pants, blouses, purses, blankets, towels or anything depicting the flag are not proper display of the flag. While I am sure you feel you are being patriotic, you are in fact, desecrating the flag. The flag is a symbol and stands alone as a symbol.

One last fact, the U.S. Flag is older then the Union Jack of Great Britain and the Tricolor of France. The U.S. Flag is the only flag to have been flown on the moon.

Information taken from Americanism Bulletin of Ladies Auxiliary MN Department and U.S. Flag website.

Have a good day!