Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Editorial: Proper care for our flag

President Truman on Aug. 3, 1949, signed an act of Congress designating June 14 as Flag Day, but individual efforts and a presidential proclamation predated the official recognition of the date by several decades.

According to the website, "the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. B.J. Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday.'"

The idea caught on, and in the following years more and more communities adopted celebrations recognizing the day. Years later, on May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson established Flag Day through a presidential proclamation.

Our flag holds a special place of respect, and there are rules governing proper care and flying of the flag.

Among those, when flying the flag it should always be lit, either by sunlight in the day or an artificial light source at night.

The flag should not be used as a general decoration. Instead, use red, white and blue bunting.

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

The flag should be folded neatly and ceremoniously prior to storing it.

When a flag is so worn that it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Several government websites detail the various aspects of the U.S. Flag Code from placement of the flag with other flags to how it should be flown over streets. Everyone should take the time to learn about the code and the proper care, display and handling of the flag.