Guest post by Alyssa Cokinos, Redfin real estate agent
This Saturday is Flag Day — a day dedicated to celebrating and displaying the American flag. Flag Day is observed on June 14 each year to commemorate the date in 1777 when our nation adopted the stars and stripes as the national flag.
As a veteran of the Navy, I view the American flag as a symbol of service, community and pride. During my service, I often participated in the Color Guard ceremony, hoisting the flag at sunrise and taking it down at sunset. Now that I’m in civilian life, I can’t help but feel a bit patriotic when I see the flag displayed on homes and businesses in my community.
Proper Display of the Flag
In the service, we learned about proper flag protocols and decorum. After all, flags have historical significance for the armed forces and played an important role in early naval communication. Did you know that flying the flag upside down is a symbol of distress?
If you aren’t familiar with the particulars of flag display, read these guidelines from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Here’s what you need to know:
- When displaying the flag from a staff projecting from a building, make sure that the union – the star portion of the flag – is placed at the peak of the staff.
- When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be at the top and positioned to the observer’s left.
- When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed with the union to the left of the observer in the street.
- When the flag is worn out or torn, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. Some communities arrange for a flag-burning ceremony on Flag Day to respectfully destroy worn flags.
Where to Purchase a Flag
There are a variety of retailers and websites that sell American flags at various price points. If you plan to display the flag outdoors, consider choosing a synthetic fabric that can withstand the elements and fading from the sun. Of course, I encourage buying a flag that is made here in the USA. You can purchase a flag that has flown over the U.S. Capitol building through the Capitol Flag Program.
How to Install a Flagpole
Nothing says classic Americana like a flag positioned on the front porch or next to the front door. For homeowners, displaying the flag is not only patriotic; it can also give your home’s curb appeal a little boost. You can find hardware designed for mounting a flag staff at the hardware store.
For those who have the space and inclination, there are a variety of guides online to assist with the installation of a flagpole in the ground. This project is more intensive and requires pouring a concrete footing to secure the pole. This Old House has a helpful step-by-step guide.
While it may not receive the same fanfare as Memorial Day or Independence Day, setting aside a day for Old Glory is a nice tradition that reminds us of our history. As President Obama stated in his official proclamation of Flag Day this year, “On Flag Day we pay tribute to the banner that weaves us together and waves above us all.”
Happy Flag Day!