Friday, November 9, 2007

American flag deserves honor, respect


Rainbeau Decker is a Hailey resident.

By RAINBEAU DECKER

It is unfortunate really, the first thing I noticed when I moved into this beautiful area was the numerous torn, tattered and unlit American flags.

I'm new to the community, due to my husband's recent deployment to Iraq. I'm a proud Army wife, and proud temporary single mother of two little "army brats." You will probably see me stumbling with packages on my weekly visits to the post office, or perhaps recognize my children by a shirt that reads "My Daddy is Defending Your Freedom." It's possible you will even be around when my soldier gets a chance to come home for R&R halfway through his 15-month tour.

One thing you should know about me is that I am patriotic. Patriotism and support for our troops is always at the top of my list, especially during a time of war. Nothing bothers me more than seeing our sacred flag being treated with disrespect. I realize that community members are not out stomping on the flag, or leaving it on the ground, but as I drive around and notice one flag after another torn, tattered, faded and left in the dark, it hurts me to the soul.

My husband is currently serving our country, as generations after generation of veterans have also done for us. Please take note of the following "etiquette" to caring for our American flag. Perhaps, if one month from now I still spot this symbol of my freedom waving in the dark, or flying with frayed edges, I'll visit your door personally and ask you to make changes to your current show of patriotism.

Those of you who are flying your flag proudly and properly, I thank you. I find comfort in the Old Glory, and I hope others can as well. And for those who don't own a flag, I urge you to find a way to fly her proudly. Be proud Americans. It doesn't have to be 9/11 or the Fourth of July to show your support and pride.

Rules to Remember:

- A flag should be flown from sunrise to sunset; it should only be flown in darkness if illuminated and flown in bad weather only if made of all-weather material.

- A flag should never be used for advertising purposes. Also, advertising signs should not be attached or fastened to the same staff that the flag is flown.

- Flags should be dry cleaned if soiled.

- Flags need to be replaced or repaired immediately if ripped, torn, or faded. You can cut off ragged ends and re-hem as long as the flag still looks proportionate in size. You can also sew together stripes if they come apart in the wind.

- The flag should never touch anything beneath it, including the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.

- The flag should always be allowed to flow freely. (Unwrap your flag if the wind has blown it around the pole.)

- The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. · The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on: New Year's Day; Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Lincoln's birthday; Washington's birthday; Armed Forces Day; Memorial Day (half-staff until noon); Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day, Nov. 11; Thanksgiving Day; and Christmas Day.




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