R/S That Patriot
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Hello Everyone. I figured I'd start this off by tackling a couple very common misconceptions. Most people (including myself until recently) believe that if an American Flag comes into contact with the ground it's no longer fit for display and therefore must be burned. There is a bit of truth to this but not entirely. In title 4, chapter 1 of the US Code under "Respect for the Flag" it is stated that "the Flag should never touch anything beneath it such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise." If this happens it should simply be moved. It is also stated under "Respect for the Flag" that "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." So it is true that the Flag should be disposed of by burning and the Flag should never come into contact with the ground but it's false that a Flag must be burned just because it has touched the ground. Another misconception I've heard is that the average Joe can't dispose of the Flag. While it is true that many patriotic groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, American Legion, VFW, Marine Corps League, some local governments and others will perform the ceremony for you there is nothing saying it's unacceptable for you to do it yourself. I would actually suggest doing it yourself if you live in an area it's legal to have an open fire. What better reason to have a party than the retirement of of an American Flag. A good copy of the US Code can be found at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/. If that Flag in your front yard is getting a bit worn I encourage you have a party to celebrate our great nation and give it a proper send off.