Old Glory

The following is an article sent to Tidelines by a Seabrook neighbor:

Last week as we celebrated our country’s 241st birthday the Seabrook community responded as they always do with enthusiasm and patriotism. The red, white and blue were prominent in all parts of the island. Many residents and renters went the extra mile and decorated their mailboxes to show their pride.

Did you see all the flags? Did it give you a moment of reflection or a lump in your throat? Maybe it made you remember a special event in your life. For me the flag reminds me of the friends and family members I’ve lost who served in our military. My grandfather, father, uncle and two friends I worked with in the Pentagon. All common Americans who served our great country with pride.

While waiting for the parade to begin on Tuesday morning I noticed three folks wearing 3’x 5′ flags as pieces of clothing. I was offended. The more I looked at them the more upset it made me. To the point I took pictures with the plan to do the “wrong” thing and post them to NextDoor. Yes, had I posted the pictures I would have made myself feel better. But would it really? I decided to reach out by private message on NextDoor to a couple of gentlemen looking for perspective. Their response helped remind me that not everyone understands the proper etiquette for our flag. As they mentioned, if you’ve never served in the military or been in scouting you just may not know.

This led me to question what I really knew about the proper care and display of our flag. United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8, Respect for Flag states: the flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. In addition it discusses the proper display of the flag for parades and static displays from our homes, Did you know the flag should be properly lit if you plan to leave the flag up after dark? Busted!

Do I believe these were bad people? Absolutely not. They were happy, enthusiastic and very proud of their flags and how they chose to display them. One was wearing it as a shawl and the other two had them wrapped around their waist beach towel style.

My hope is we take a minute and think of the sacrifices and triumphs made by so many for our country and honor them by proper display and etiquette of old glory.

-Submitted by Glen Cox

Notes from Tidelines Editor:

As a reminder,  the Town of Seabrook Island office accepts flags that are no longer wanted and will arrange for their proper disposal.

For additional information regarding flag etiquette, please visit https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/4/8 .

 

 

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2 Responses to Old Glory

  1. Vince S says:

    Excellent article (and patience) Glen. Without the benefit of school age children or grandchildren in our family I wonder if our school systems still even teach the pledge of Allegiance, let alone anything about flag etiquette. Any teachers out there that can answer that for me please?

  2. Bob Glenn says:

    Glen, thanks for the education. I was not aware there was even a U.S. Code that covered respect for the stars and bars. I have to confess that I have transgressed with a button-down collar shirt I have worn in the Seabrook parade. I will amend my ways.

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