The American flag has been flying in our nation for more than 242 years in some form or another, and as we discussed in our most recent article, there have been 27 iterations of it. With so much changing in America during that time, it’s understandable if people get confused about what’s okay and what’s not okay when it comes to flag treatment and display. Yes, there is a United States Flag Code, but it’s also not technically enforceable due to the power of the First Amendment.
While not everyone wants to show the utmost honor to the American flag, we’re betting you do, especially if you’ve called us for flag pole installation and have done your best to find an American flag made in America. So in your quest to honor the flag, you might ask yourself these questions about what others — or maybe even you, yourself — have done when it comes to the flag.
Is It Okay To…?
…Fly A Flag With Gold Fringe?
Yes, it is, as long as the fringe doesn’t deface the face of the flag itself. For instance, you wouldn’t want 5-foot fringe dangling from a 3-foot flag, or have fringe coming from each star.
Fringe on a flag almost always shows that it is a ceremonial flag (carried in a parade) or an indoor flag, and fringe on a flag has been a decoration since at least 1835. The Army and the Air Force us a fringed flag for parades and indoor ceremonies, while the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard use a flag with no fringes. Nothing prevents civilians from displaying fringed flags.
Have An Eagle Atop A Flag Pole?
Nothing says that you can’t have another symbol of America, the Bald Eagle, atop your flag pole. While this isn’t often a part of residential or commercial flag pole installation, eagles are often found at the top of handheld or house-mounted flag poles.
Fly An Old Flag?
An American flag can be flown as long as it is serviceable. For instance, there’s nothing wrong if you want to fly a 15-star reproduction of the Star Spangled Banner, or the 43-star version that flew in 1890 when North Dakota, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, and Washington became states.
Fly A Flag Upside Down?
While flying a country’s flag upside down can be considered a show of disrespect, it can also be a means of showing that something’s wrong. The Flag Code states, “The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” For instance, if you’re on a fishing trip on the ocean and see a ship with the American flag upside down, don’t immediately think they’re being careless or disrespectful; they might just need your help.
Fly A Flag That’s Touched the Ground?
There’s a myth that any American flag that touches the ground must be ceremoniously burned, but that’s just not the case. While every effort should be made to keep the flag off the ground, nothing says that that flag is no longer usable. If a flag touches the ground or floor and no damage has been done, then no action needs to be taken (other than ensuring it doesn’t happen again). If the flag becomes soiled or damaged, we offer flag cleaning and repair. If said flag is damaged beyond repair, we offer respectful flag retirement services.
Fly a Flag In The Dark?
The American flag should be illuminated if left out after dusk or raised before dawn. When you hire us for flag pole installation, we can help you with your lighting options as well.
Fly Your Flag Proudly!
Our goal at ND flag Pole Guy is to make sure you have the tools to fly the flag with the greatest honor, and we hope this blog helps. If you’re ready for your flag pole installation in North Dakota, give us a call!