Topic: War & Peace (185)

Just Whose Flag Is It Anyway?

Who the patriot? Who the abuser? Speak!

4 U.S. Code § 8. FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES: Respect for flag;

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

(d)The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed,used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

There are no photos available to demonstrate this item.

(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

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

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

For your consideration also - not categorized:

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Comments by Readers

Satpal Sidhu

Jun 30, 2020

Very informative!  This should be taught in our schools and colleges and places of worship and many other places.Thanks Dick. 

Read More...

Dick Conoboy

Jun 30, 2020

Thanks for the comment, Satpal. 

Nobody has a lock on the meaning of the flag.  Each of these photos tells a story.  As you suggest, having a discussion of those stories would be imensly valuable to students AND teachers at all levels of the educational ladder.  Noting how our interpretations may change over time is revealing of our growth, our sophistication and our tolerance. 

Thank you again,

Dick

Read More...

David A. Swanson

Jun 30, 2020

Nice summary Thanks.

Read More...

Satpal Sidhu

Jun 30, 2020

In India, the Offical Flag has much more restriction on its use for private or personal functions.  There is a strict protocol and people follow that.  However, in the name of freedom, we sometimes go over board.

Read More...

Dick Conoboy

Jun 30, 2020

Satpal,

Overboard.  Therein lies the rub.  But whose overboard?  Take the first set of pics of the flag being flown upside down.  Both are legitimate uses under the law but what constitutes distress for one might not be distress for another.  The first pic actually was taken at a protest at Wounded Knee.  Other at a neo-nazi rally (not sure why they used the Betsy Ross version).  How does knowing the identity of the flag users change our idea of legitimate use? 

Dick

Read More...

Steve Abell

Jun 30, 2020

This is on the American Legion website:

https://www.legion.org/flag/questions-answers/91517/it-permissible-wear-item-clothing-looks-united-states-flag

The important distinction here is that you are not supposed to take an an actual flag and turn all or any part of it into an article of clothing. If you want to show a flag motif on an article of clothing you can do that. The photo of the young lady who appears to be wrapped in a flag is OK as long as it wasn’t a real flag - and it isn’t. Too many stripes and not enough stars.

Read More...

Dick Conoboy

Jun 30, 2020

Steve,

But that is not what the code says.  “No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume…”

Not taking sides but is the AL the authorized arbiter?  The AL posts the US Code portion on its website that you linked to above.  The code states “no part of the flag” which speaks of the flag in general terms.  It does not say no part of “a flag”.

And what was the reaction back in the 1960s during protests when flag parts were used on clothing?

Read More...

Steve Abell

Jun 30, 2020

Full disclosure: Dick and I are friends so this is a friendly disagreement. We both served in the military and have great respect for our flag.

I’ll split the hair one more time, and then let Dick argue with the American Legion about its interpretation of flag etiquette. The young lady is not wrapped in THE flag. It’s not even A flag. It’s a flag motif, defined as a “decorative design or pattern”. 

Read More...

Thomas R. Scott

Jul 01, 2020

The repeatedly key word is “should”.  The word “shall” is not used a single time.  Thus, still complies with Supreme Court of the US constitutional findings regarding any “disrespectful” acts concerning the flag.

Read More...

Damon Gray

Jul 01, 2020

Yup. All true. 

I blogged on this many years ago and got next to zero traction with it.  I believe in most cases people simply do not know, and in an attempt to “love the flag” actually end up dishonoring it as noted above.

On a related note, I still remember the dedication of the new flagpole in Fairhaven.  A box the size of a coffin opened and the flag it contained was attached to the rope and it just kept coming and coming and coming.  I thought, “There is no end to this enormous flag!” 

It was magnificent.

Read More...

Dick Conoboy

Jul 01, 2020

 Steve,

Putting extra stars or not enough stars and placing 14 bars instead of the 13 on the flag are rarely noticed by the consumer.  The products are made to look like the flag for the purpose of selling something.  Cynical workarounds?   Is this a legitimate use?  Does it cheapen the flag image?  What is the flag’s image supposed to be?  The more one digs the stickier it gets!  :-)

Dick

 

Read More...

Damon Gray

Jul 01, 2020

One thing I did not know until just recently, is that there is a preferred method of disposing of a flag in some circles. I don’t know who is the “owner” or originator of the ritual, but I was privileged a few years back to watch a young boy scout methodically disassemble a tattered flag and dispose of it piece by piece by burning in an almost-reverent ceremony. It was quite a moving experience.

Read More...

John Servais

Jul 01, 2020

The real surprise is the US Navy protocol officers not knowing the proper use of the flag.  For the president commissioning a new aircraft carrier - a major major event for the navy - their officers miss use the flag, putting it on the overhead - the ceiling - in a plain violation of the code (f).  They then put bunting on the podium with colors opposite of specific instructions in the code, with red at top and blue under (d).  Then they do not even provide a single flag on a staff on the stage, the proper display of a flag at an official government event.

Read More...

Dick Conoboy

Jul 09, 2020

To all,

The quote below comes from an article by Danny Sjursen, a West Point grad and a combat veteran.  He and 4 other veterans were able to enter the hall where Trump held his rally recently in Tulsa, OK.  The piece is entitled “Undercover Patriots: Trump, Tulsa, and the Rise of Military Dissent” But it is about much more than the flag.  I urge you to read the entire article.

“And then, of course, there was the version of patriotism on display in the arena. I’ve never seen so many representations of the Stars and Stripes in my life, classic flags everywhere and flag designs plastered on all manner of attire. Remember, I went to West Point. No one showed the slightest concern that many of the red-white-and-blue adaptations worn or waved strictly violated the statutes colloquially known as the U.S. Flag Code (United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1).

That said, going undercover in Trumplandia means entering a universe in which it’s exceedingly clear that one political faction holds the flag hostage. They see it as theirs—and only theirs. They define its meaning, its symbolism, and its proper use, not to speak of whom it represents. The crowd, after all, was vanilla. (There were more people of color serving beers than cheering the president.)

By a rough estimate, half of the attendees had some version of the flag on their clothing, Trump banners, or other accessories, signaling more than mere national pride. Frequently sharing space with Old Glory were images of (often military-grade) weaponry, skulls (one wearing an orange toupee), and anti-liberal slogans. Notable shirts included: the old Texas War of Independence challenge “Come And Take It!” above the sort of AK-47 assault rifle long favored by America’s enemies; a riff on a classic Nixonian line, “The Silent Majority Is Coming”; and the slanderous “Go To Your Safe Space, Snowflake!”; not to mention a sprinkling of the purely conspiratorial like “Alex Jones Did Nothing Wrong” (with a small flag design on it, too).”

Read More...

Forest Cat

Jul 29, 2020

Mutual social and political respect for each other’s diversity of sacred symbols (and DUE RESPECT  for national honor and service) would go a long way toward the growth of tolerance.

Although, contrary to what I just said, I must admit that I’ll be laughing all evening after seeing the Obama and Reagan flags!!

Read More...
To comment, Log In or Register

Just Whose Flag Is It Anyway?

By Dick ConoboyOn Jun 30, 2020

Who the patriot? Who the abuser? Speak! 4 U.S. Code § 8. FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES: Respect for flag; No disrespect should be shown to the flag [...]

15 comments, most recent 1 week ago

Mainstream Media won’t Say this about Hong Kong

By Ho See-wingOn Jun 13, 2020

I had been asked by many Bellinghamsters to talk about Hong Kong after moving here. I would always begin this way: if you ask this question of five people in [...]

2 comments, most recent 1 month ago

The Lack of Containment Measures: Does It Constitute Senicide?

By David A. SwansonOn May 07, 2020

[This article authored by David A. Swanson with assistance from NWCitizen writer Dick Conoboy] Senicide, or geronticide, is the killing of the elderly, or their abandonment to death. Because the [...]

3 comments, most recent 2 months ago

DEROS + 50 Years

By Dick ConoboyOn Oct 12, 2019

Date of Expected Return from OverSeas. DEROS is a military acronym. If, as a soldier, you had one or more hostile-fire tours overseas, those dates are seared into your brain. [...]

4 comments, most recent 9 months ago

Bellingham Fireworks Ban, New Year’s Eve And The Troops

By Dick ConoboyOn Jan 10, 2019

In vain this year, I have looked for any mention from the City of Bellingham, in the way of a warning to the public prior to New Year’s Eve, [...]

Ali Velshi and the Weaponization of Culture

By John LesowOn Jun 11, 2018

On May 18, 2018, MSNBC Commentator Ali Velshi was the featured speaker at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. The event was held at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. [...]

14 comments, most recent 2 years ago

The NFL Sowed Its Own Problem With The National Anthem

By Dick ConoboyOn May 30, 2018

The big shots of the National Football League (NFL) have no one to blame but themselves for the problems surrounding the playing of the national anthem at the beginning of [...]

Is the Cold War turning Hot?

By Ho See-wingOn Oct 30, 2017

Wars both Hot and Cold are on the American radar lately. On the Cold front, Ken Burns’ 10-episode, 18-hour documentary The Vietnam War finished its heavily-hyped, two-week run on PBS [...]

The Day the Neo-Nazis Moved In

By Anne MackieOn Aug 14, 2017

The “Alt Right” movement must be condemned for its murderous actions in Charlottesville, Virginia, last Saturday. Their movement is not about “free speech” but is about terror and oppression. Could [...]

3 comments, most recent 2 years ago

Bellingham Bells - Stop The Fireworks

By Dick ConoboyOn Jun 16, 2017

Several years ago the Bellingham City Council banned the possession or use of consumer fireworks within the city limits (BMC 10.24.130). The ban was the result of a citizen push led [...]

3 comments, most recent 3 years ago

Being Thankful on Thanksgiving

By John ServaisOn Nov 24, 2016

Most - maybe all - reading this have much to be thankful for. Many may feel grief or despair because of the elections. They should not because what we have [...]

A Brief Primer on Neoliberalsim

By Dick ConoboyOn Nov 16, 2016

The name Friederich* Hayek is not a household name, bandied about during dinner conversation, but it ought to be for we are seeing with the present election the very manifestation [...]

5 comments, most recent 3 years ago

1924 and 1933 - and Deja Vu in 2016

By John ServaisOn Nov 09, 2016

A dire prediction of the Trump presidency, one that hopefully will not come true. But if he does as he promised, as history suggests, then he may repeat history. They [...]

Of Platters and Asses

By Dick ConoboyOn Nov 09, 2016

A friend writes to me this morning: “As usual, the very good writer Thomas Frank has something to say, & what he says is correct … but the Nile, Ganges, Mississippi &[...]

Anti-Nuclear Weapons ship ‘Golden Rule’ to Visit

By Ellen MurphyOn Aug 13, 2016

Editor update: On Sunday evening, August 21, the public is invited to bring a dish to a 6:00 pm picnic for peace with the Golden Rule crew, hosted by the Veterans For [...]

1 comment, most recent 3 years ago

Memorial Day 2016 - Thanking a True Soldier

By Dick ConoboyOn May 26, 2016

The message below was written by Christopher Brown, who co-founded Growing Veterans, a non-profit dedicated to helping veterans from all wars who are experiencing physical and mental trauma from their [...]

3 comments, most recent 4 years ago

Making Money on the Plight of Veterans

By Dick ConoboyOn Jan 29, 2016

As a veteran, I am a more than a bit sensitive about those who would profit over the condition of veterans in the US especially since those who send those [...]

Veterans Day and Thanking Veterans

By Dick ConoboyOn Nov 11, 2015

Several years ago I was in Bend, Oregon over the Memorial Day weekend when, while I was eating breakfast in a restaurant, a woman approached me and thanked me for [...]

1 comment, most recent 4 years ago

How Our Community Can Welcome Our Troops Home

By Guest WriterOn Aug 24, 2015

Guest Writer: Christopher Brown is a U.S. Marine combat veteran of Iraq & Afghanistan and Purple Heart recipient. He is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work through [...]

Howard Harris Dies - More Testimonials Added

By John ServaisOn Nov 12, 2014

Posted Nov 9 Howard Harris, lifetime Friend, founder of the Whatcom Peace Vigil at the Federal Building during the Vietnam War, and first recipient of the Howard L. Harris Lifetime Peacemaker [...]

©1995-2020 Northwest Citizen LLC | Each writer retains the copyright to their articles. Copyright & Contact