Stars and Stripes Forever – Woodlands Online celebrates Flag Day 2022
THE WOODLANDS, TX – Today’s the day to give special recognition to Old Glory herself, the United States flag. Today is Flag Day – also called National Flag Day – throughout the United States, where the national flag is honored.
June 14 commemorates a special day in U.S. history
On June 14, 1777, the design for the first national flag was approved by the Continental Congress, and this day is set aside to celebrate the occasion. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed the legislation to federally designate June 11 each year as National Flag Day. Only Pennsylvania – birthplace of the flag – celebrates it as a state holiday.
Woodlands Online has some interesting facts about the United States flag.
Why is the flag sometimes shown backwards on military uniforms?
When placed on the right-hand “sides” of uniforms (such as sleeves and the sides of helmets), flags are shown as being backward, with the blue field of stars on the right hand side. According to The Institute of Heraldry, flag patches on military uniforms located on the right shoulder should be worn with the star field always facing front. This is meant to resemble a flag blowing in the wind as the serviceman or woman is charging forward; never backwards in retreat.
Weather or not
A common question is, can you fly the flag in rain or (not really a problem in The Woodlands) snow? The United States Flag Code states that “The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all weather flag is displayed.” When purchasing a flag, check its tag to ensure it is ‘all weather;’ however, even all-weather flags are subject to the stresses of winds and precipitation, so keep an eye on its condition. The flag is to be displayed only from sunrise to sunset – if displayed at night it should be fully illuminated by a strong light.
How do I throw my flag a retirement party?
The US Flag Code is specific in its directive that a flag should be retired “when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display,” and that it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. Should you decide to retire your flag, you should check local ordinances; a permit might be required for burning situations. While there is no specific right or wrong way to burn the flag, the ceremony should be done respectfully and safely. Be sure to read the flag’s label; many synthetic fabrics aren’t suitable for burning. Flags that are too large to safely burn as one unit may be cut with scissors or a knife (try to keep the blue star field intact, and either cut in half or cut stripes out individually). If for some reason or another you’re unable or unwilling to burn the flag, contact your local Scouts troop or VA or VFW organization and they’ll take care of it for you.
Wear the flag with pride
It’s a common misperception that you can’t wear images of the flag on your clothing. In actuality, the US Flag Code stresses that the flag itself can’t be worn as clothing (or part of clothing); however, it is entirely permissible to wear representations of the flag. The same code section does stress that flags should never be used in a festooned or drawn-back fashion, which is why table buntings are typically a generic red, white, and blue and not the flag itself.
Halfway is okay
When times of mourning are decreed (either by holiday or proclamation), the flag is flown at half its normal level on the flagpole, typically for thirty days. There’s a difference between ‘half-mast’ and ‘half-staff’ – the former is for flags on ships or otherwise at sea, and the latter is for land-based flagpoles.
Woodlands Online encourages you to research the origins, history, and meaning of the Stars and Stripes (also the name of the official military newspaper) and reflect upon all the glory that Old Glory represents.