Brushing up on flag etiquette

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Memorial Day is more than a three-day holiday. It’s a time to pause and reflect on the sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. One of the ways we honor our veterans is by displaying the American flag. This is a good time to brush up on the basics of flag etiquette.

– It should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

– When the flag is hung vertically on a wall, window or door the Union (blue) should be to the observer’s left. When the flag is hung either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the Union (blue field) should be to the observer’s left.

– The custom is to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on flagstaffs in the open, but it may be lit and displayed at night upon special occasions to produce a patriotic effect.

– The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.

– The flag should not be displayed on a float except from a staff, nor draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle.

– When the flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. Your local VFW or Boy Scouts can assist you with that.

Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered that flags be displayed at half-staff today in the state.

The correct procedure for flying a flag at half-staff is that the flag should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to half-staff position.

It should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

Half-staff is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff.

On Memorial Day, the flag is displayed at half-staff until noon, then full-staff from noon until sunset.

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