Respect For Our Flag


Happy Independence Day weekend, everyone!  This weekend (or Monday, as it were), we celebrate our freedom. Our freedom to say what we choose, our freedom to decide what we want to do with our lives and our freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I wanted to write a little post about the symbol of our freedom. The symbol of our country: The American Flag. This is a modified post of what I wrote last year on my personal blog, but it is something that I think needs to be more widely known (and practiced).

Most of you know that there are rules regarding how the flag should be displayed, but did you know there are other rules regarding the flag itself as well? I think it is important for all citizens to know–and follow–the rules governing their flag. I see a lot of people disrespecting our flag and it makes my heart hurt. I think a lot of people take freedom for granted (not necessarily military folks… we know the sacrifices) and even more take the symbol of our freedom and country for granted.

And what, exactly is defined as a flag? It is a flag or anything “by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe to represent the flag.” So basically, if you see something and you think it’s meant to represent the flag, then that “thing” is considered a flag and is to be treated according to the Flag Code.

These rules are all covered under the Flag Code, but here are some highlights:

  • No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America.
  • The flag presents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.
  • The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
  • The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery (Editor’s note: yes, this means the flag bikinis and towels!). It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.
  • The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed upon articles such as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes or anything to be discarded after temporary use.
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.

I think the worst instances I’ve seen are flag flip-flops. When those are worn, the person is literally walking on our flag. Wow.

So if you are proud to live in America, please please PLEASE don’t disrespect the symbol of our nation by using our flag in any way other than flying it high and proud. And if you are NOT proud to live in America… well, please feel free to move to Canada. Or North Korea. Yes, North Korea would be good… there you’d enjoy a dictatorship and country that is based on a class system with no hope of bettering yourself.

About the Author

Wife of a Sailor

Wife of a Sailor is small-town woman who fell in love with an enlisted Navy man while he was on shore duty in Michigan. She has been married to her active duty submariner for two years. So far they have survived recruiting duty (a feat in itself!) and nearly a full sea tour together.

While pretty much homeported in the state of Washington, even though they don't have PCSing fun, being part of the submarine community has its own unique set of challenges. To add another twist to the equation, Wife of a Sailor has been a reserve Navy officer herself for two years. Yes - that means her husband has to salute her. She not-so secretly loves that fact.

Wifey (as her husband likes to call her) and Huzzy are the head of the Wuzzy household - or at least they like to think they are. Their two dogs, a 90lb monster of a female Greyhound named Lulu and Skah, a fuzzy, white, deaf 130lb Great Pyrenees, think otherwise.

You can find Wife of a Sailor on her personal blog at, where she also hosts the (surprisingly) popular MilSpouse Friday Fill-Ins.

  • Petra

    Unfortunately Lady Commerce has done a lot to change the general population’s regard for the flag. As soon as any national holiday comes up, be it Independence Day, Columbus Day, or Veteran’s Day, the displays and shelves are filled with anything “patriotic” one can think of. There are flag dishes, flag clothes, flag chairs (putting your butt on it isn’t much better than walking on it, is it?) – if it’s possible to squeeze a flag on it, it’ll have one…

    And as Tara said, most people don’t use that stuff out of disrespect, they rather buy it BECAUSE they feel patriotic.

    Thanks for the reminder, though :)

  • Prime9mm

    AH! thanks for this posting. I’m upset at the moment and I really don’t know where to turn to in order to vent. The root of my situation is based on a friends spouse who took some racy type photos and put them on facebook but thats not the worst of it. She used the American Flag in them as what I can best describe as a prop to drape over her shoulders like a blanket or a cape or i don’t know. I’m all for people paying patronage to America don’t get me wrong. BUT, in 22 photos ( I counted ) the Union is either upside down or the viewers right, not left. This bothered the crap out of me. I suggested on her fb page this, verbatim : great shots. now that I’ve complimented I get to complain. The shots of the you carrying the Flag with the Union (Stars) on the right instead of the left bug me. I count at least 22 pictures in which the Flag is displayed improperly. In case you or your photographer didn’t know, anytime the United States Flag is displayed in a manner other than flown the Union is always upper most and to the Flags right, the viewers left. Anything else makes is un-American. Again great shots. The Flag thing is something I can’t turn off. You’ve been advised. Prime Out.
    I was chastised and attacked on her page for making the correction. Ah. I feel better after venting. I really don’t think I’m wrong at all for pointing that out.

  • Steve

    Agreed. Thanks. Everyone should check out these US Flag rules, refresh their memories and (politely) teach those who don’t know that it really matters to the rest of us. Some of our nations tradtions serve a national-uniting purpose and this is one that will stay.