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Swift reflects on the United States flag

By:  Jack Swift

The American flag is one of the most recognized symbols in the world. It represents the freedom and values of the greatest nation on earth: The United States of America. It is an inspiring scene when the flag is carried forward at the head of a parade or displayed in any other appropriate setting. I believe it is important that each one of us as Americans should respect the American flag and recognize it for what it represents There are many things that could be said concerning the American flag. It has been said, “If the U. S. flag is worth dying for it’s worth protecting.” Terrible costs in death and agony have gone into the preservation of our flag. It has survived many wars and conflicts and it still stands as a source of pride and patriotism by many citizens of the United States of America. The current flag consists of thirteen alternating white and red stripes and 50 stars on a blue rectangular field to the upper right. The original flag consisted of thirteen stars and thirteen stripes for the thirteen colonies. Over the year stars were added as states were added to the union.  There are many interesting facts about our flag. Of course I can’t mention them all in this column, but I can include a few.
I came across a card recently that deals with the proper way to display the United States Flag. There were 10 guidelines included, and those follow:
The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
The flag is never allowed to touch the ground or the floor. When hung over a sidewalk on a rope extending from a building to a pole, the union stars are always away from the building.
When hung over a sidewalk on a rope extending from a building to a pole, the union stars are always away from the building.
When vertically hung over the center of the street, the flag always has the union stars to the north in an east/west street, and to the east in a north/south street.
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.
The flag should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds but always allowed to fall free.  The flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day then raised to the top of the staff.
Never fly the flag upside down except as a signal of distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
The flag is never flown in inclement weather except when using an all-weather flag.
The flag can be flown every day from sunrise to sunset and at night if illuminated properly.