While Memorial Day is often a time for summer celebrations and paid vacation, its also a time of reflection and giving-thanks. This Memorial Day, honor those who’ve dedicated their lives to our country by ensuring you’re taking the best possible care of your American flag. If you take good care of your American Flag, you’ll be able to use it for years to come.
Before we get into flag care, it’s important to know flag etiquette (although, as you’ll see, part of that etiquette is keeping your glad in good shape!)
Here’s some things you should be aware of when flying your flag:
- The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
- One thing many people may not know is that, according to the Flag Code, your American flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. If you want to patriotically decorate, you should use bunting with the American colors, not an actual flag.
- It is poor etiquette to place or attached any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind to your American Flag.
- In addition, the flag should not be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
- When you are flying your American Flag with the national banner of another country, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.
- Eventually, you’re going to have to take your flag up and down. You should know proper etiquette when lowering the flag is that no part of it should touch the ground or any other object, and the flag should be received by waiting hands and arms. In storing the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously, as, of course, it carries great symbolic meaning.
- As we mentioned before, the Flag Code dictates that the flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary—but don’t worry, they’re pretty simple. Here are some tips for proper flag cleaning care:
CARING FOR YOUR AMERICAN FLAG
- If your American Flag has yellow fringe, it’s very important to keep the fringe dry at all times, this is because if the fringe becomes wet, the color may start to run and stain the rest of the flag. If the fringe does happen to become wet, lay the flag flat on towels so that it may dry properly.
- There are also very specific steps to take when washing your American flag Outdoor American flags.
- Exposure to the elements as well as dirt and air pollution can dull the flag and cause damage to the fibers, so it’s very important that frequently wash your American Flag with a mild soap in order to prolong its life.
- However, if you machine wash your flag, run it on a gentle cycle and make sure not to let it sit long or the colors may run. Try Purex® Plus Clorox 2™ for a color-safe clean that will enable you to keep the Red and Blue looking vibrant and the white looking white.
- To dry the flag, do not use a machine dryer; rather, just lay your flag flat until it is dry. If you are unsure of how to wash your flag, you can take it to a dry cleaner to have it professionally washed, which is s good option for indoor flags given that they are not as durable as outdoor flags.
- Repair any minor rips or tears in your flag as soon as you notice them. Small tears in your flag can quickly grow into large tears as the flag waves in the wind, so it’s very important to mend them right away.
- However, be aware that your flag can only be repaired a certain number of times before it becomes too short to be a regulation-sized American Flag. But, if you keep an eye on the frays and tears, and your flag should stay safe.
In the case that your flag becomes 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.
If you have anymore questions about proper flag care, in addition to how you ought to display your flag among other flags check out http://www.usflag.org/flagetiquette.html.
In terms of flag etiquette and care, the most important aspect of using the American Flag is to remember why it’s important to you and what it signifies. Particularly on Memorial Day, beat in mind all the ways in which our fallen soldiers have ensured that we have the very right to wave our flag.
So wave it high. :)
Happy Memorial Day from Purex!