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Treat American flag with respect

Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 11:58 a.m. CDT
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John Valle

As spring turns into summer in York Township, I cannot help but view June and July with “patriotic” eyes. In honor of our observation of Flag Day on June 14 and of Independence Day on July 4, I would like to share with you some etiquette or standards of respect for our nation’s flag.

The National Flag Code was adopted at the National Flag Conference on June 14, 1923, for the purpose of providing guidance, based on U.S. Army and Navy procedures, relating to display of and associated questions about the U.S. flag.

In 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution and the Flag Code became federal law. As a result, exact rules for use and display of the flag are included in the U.S. Code – 36 USC 176 deals specifically with respect for the flag and contains instructions on how the flag is not to be used.

The flag never should be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal. The flag should not be used as a drapery, covering a speaker’s desk, draping a platform or any decoration in general. The flag should not be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on anything intended to be discarded after temporary use.

Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard. The flag never should have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure or drawing of any kind. The flag never should be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no parts of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. 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.

If you have a flag that is worn and needs to be properly disposed of, you can bring it to the supervisor’s office at York Township Hall, 1502 S. Meyers Road in Lombard, and we will arrange with one of the veterans organizations we work with to dispose of the flag respectfully.

John W. Valle is supervisor for York Township

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