USA national flag has thirteen stripes of red alternating with white. In the Flag, the red is at the top and the bottom. In insignia, the white is on the left and right. The union is a blue rectangle with 50 white, five-pointed stars, one for each American state. The 13 stripes represent the 13 original states of the early Union.
The Flag has changed since the early times. The Betsy Ross and the 13 Star are historic American flags. Alternative names for the American flag may be the Stars and Stripes, the Old Glory, and the Red, White, and Blue. The Star Spangled Banner also is the name of the American national anthem, too.
The 13 Star
There is a code of conduct concerning the Flag. The Federal Flag Code is not descriptive of all situations and does not impose penalties for misconduct. Violating the guidelines may offend, however.
The guidelines state to display the Flag from sunrise to sunset, when in the open. 24-hour display should involve proper illumination of the Flag from dusk to dawn. We should not modify the Flag, regardless of the form of presentation. Whether in fabric, print, or another material, the Flag should have the stars and the stripes as in the design presented on the top of this page.
Please refer to the Flag Code for details on flag positioning. For example, we place the Stars on the Flag’s right, when we display it horizontally or vertically. With other flags, the US flag should be on its own right side or in center front. On the same halyard, the American flag takes the superior position, except when with flags of other countries.
Granting a superior or privileged position to any flag of any country in a time of peace violates international regulations.
The United States Code explains on Flag dignity. The Flag should not be showed with disrespect. It should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, state flags, and organization or institution flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor. We should use an all-weather flag, when the weather is inclement.
We should not embroider the Flag on articles as cushions or handkerchiefs, print or otherwise impress it on paper napkins or boxes or anything designed for temporary use and discard. The code advises not to use the Flag for apparel. However, we might “get away” with flag pattern hats, tops, and scarves, especially on American holidays.
The flag should not be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything. The flag should not touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise. The flag should not be carried flat or horizontally. It should be aloft and free.
The Code encourages wearing Flag patches or pins on the left side of uniforms of military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and members of patriotic organizations. The left side is that recognized for the side of the heart.
There have been disputes in America over freedom of speech and Flag burning. Could burning the Flag, as it happens in times of protests and unrest, be a form of speech?
In the psycholinguistic perspective, flag burning is a non-linguistic behavior. American legislation allows individual lawsuit in some cases of willful and malicious destruction.
The Flag Code makes one exception. When the Flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, and this can be by burning. Naturally, we have to be careful with fire.
Saluting the Flag
Title four of the United States Code counsels on the behavior proper to salute the Flag.
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the Flag or when the Flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the Flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the Flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the Flag passes.
On occasions to salute the Flag, it could be best to agree on behavior with the American party to be present.
If Flag regulations seem complicated, let us think people have risked own lives, fighting for own freedom and the Flag. The American anthem tells this. Freedom and human rights are indispensable for intellectual and economic progress (see the context of the Gettysburg Address).
Respect for the American flag means respect for own gray matter, especially if we learn American English.
Flying the Flag
American legislation mandates flying the Flag day and night in a few locations, to pay tribute in historic American sites. The national tradition holds the Flag half-staff until noon, on the Memorial Day.
Fort McHenry National Monument, Baltimore, Maryland;
Flag House Square, Baltimore, Maryland;
The United States Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington, Virginia;
The White House;
The Washington Monument;
United States Customs ports of entry;
Valley Forge State Park, Pennsylvania.
Many locations fly the Flag 24 hours without specific legal resolves.
One of such places is the United States Capitol.
Mount Rushmore has had its Avenue of Flags since 1976, the United States bicentennial. Visitors can view the Memorial 24 hours, year round.
The Memorial is located in the Pennington County, near Keystone, South Dakota. The four faces from left to right are those of the presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Sculptors Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln carried out the project. The construction ended in 1941.
Worldwide, flying the Flag every day and according to the Code, does not violate regulations. Please mind that displaying the Flag in parental advisory contexts may be considered non-complimentary. Removal of the Flag from an improper display might be advisable.
There are a few special days on which to fly the Flag.
We put the month before the day, to read the date in American English.
New Year’s Day, January 1
Inauguration Day, January 20
Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12
Washington’s Birthday (the President’s day), third Monday in February
Easter Sunday, (variable)
Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May
Flag Day, June 14
Independence Day, July 4
Labor Day, first Monday in September
Constitution Day, September 17
Columbus Day, second Monday in October
Navy Day, October 27
Veterans Day, November 11
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day, December 25
State birthdays (days of admission) and holidays: each state individually.