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New Dog watched intently yesterday as I stood on a little wooden stool and hung our country’s flag out on the front porch. It goes in the middle, hanging vertically, every year just before the holiday. We sat on the top step and looked at it waving gently in the breeze, the creases falling out one by one. My thoughts this year were more concerned than patriotic and I decided that perhaps there should never be another crease made by folding that flag and storing it from one year to the next.
If you’re hanging your flag out this week, there are still some guidelines stipulated by Federal law that you must observe:
*The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
*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 for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes.
*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 the flag, it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
*When a 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.
*When flown with non-national flags, the flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
*When displayed vertically, whether indoors or out, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left.
As we looked at that flag, I thought about how I used to think that our country would never change; it would always be the united people and states it was a couple hundred years ago. I thought how the flag was a symbol of common sense, morality, hard work, consideration of others and raising good, decent children to be the next leaders of the country. Now, I’m not so sure.
Just a few days ago, my daughter had occasion to say to me, “But, Mom, things change.” And to her I say, “Yes, Child, indeed they do. But that doesn’t always mean it’s right.”
Oh yes, one more thing. That flag should be made in the United States of America – by Americans.