Are you one of the millions of Americans celebrating Veteran's Day today by flying the flag? There's more to properly displaying Old Glory than just running it up the flagpole, so here's a refresher course on what you need to know.
- Learn the proper way to fold the flag. Once you take it off the pole, you can't just wad it up and stuff it in the closet. Grab another person and take a minute to fold into in the familiar triangular shape you've probably seen over the years. If there's no one else around to help you, lay the flag on a clean flat surface (not the floor), and fold.
- Contrary to popular belief, it's not necessary to destroy a flag that has touched the ground. It's possible to wash or dry-clean a flag that is dirty or soiled.
- Though many people prefer not to fly the flag during inclement weather, many flags are made of all-weather material these days. They're meant to be used during rain, sleet, snow. Just remember to take your flag indoors during high winds so it doesn't become tattered.
- A damaged flag must be disposed of properly but burning it isn't always practical. Simply take it to your local VFW post or American Legion hall and they'll make sure your flag is disposed of properly.
- Flying your flag at night? The Flag Code specifies that it should be "properly illuminated" but doesn't offer specifics. A strong porch light or a spotlight on the ground underneath should suffice.
- If you're displaying more than one flag, make sure the American flag is always higher than any other.