« WSAU Opinion Blog

OPINION - Fly your flag, but do it right

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)  If it was up to me, every home would fly the American flag.

Many had Old Glory flying from their front porch or their yards for Memorial Day. Excellent.

Yet I’m surprised and disappointed that very few of us know flag etiquette.

I remember this from Boy Scouts:

The flag flying at full-staff celebrates our country and what it stands for. The flag at half-staff signifies a nation in mourning. On Memorial Day, the flag is properly flown at half-staff in the morning, to signify the sacrifice our veterans have made for our country. The flag is flown at full-staff on Memorial Day in the afternoon, as a celebration of the freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifice.

When the flag is to be flown at half-staff, it is supposed to be risen to the top of the pole and then lowered to half. At the end of the day, the flag is supposed to be raised from half-staff to the top of the pole, and then lowered for the colors to be retired.

If you fly your flag from a diagonal pole (like off your front porch), you signify “half staff” by a visible black ribbon tied to the flag pole.

Lastly, when your flag is visibly worn and tattered it is supposed to be retired respectfully, usually by burning. Many American Legion, WVF, and Boy Scout groups will handle your tattered flag. If yours is in poor condition, it should be replaced.

Flying the flag is a fine way to show love of country. We honor our nation by doing it right.

Chris Conley