In November this year in honor of Veterans Day, I'm going to post every day with a little fact of American Flag History/Facts. I think kids learn so much these days but truly understanding and respecting the flag can be overlooked. Lots of these posts are cool little topics you could bring up at the dinner table.
Day 1: The American flag should never be flown with tears/holes or any disrespectful manor. My husband (Air Force vet) will take and dispose of flags properly if you ever need, but if you would like to do so these are the steps:
- The flag should be folded in its customary manner (into a triangle...youtube can help if you are not aware how to do that).
- It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.
- Place the flag on the fire.
- The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection. It is nice if children are present to let them know a few facts on how the flag came to be what we know today and appreciate those that have given their lives for our freedom.
- After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried
Day 2: What does the red/white/blue stand for on the U.S. flag?
Red- represents the courage, heroism & sacrifices of our military who have fought for our country and it's freedoms since the Revolutionary War
White- speaks for the purity of our high ideals
Blue- signifies the strength & unity of all our states (represented by the stars)
Day 3: Why is the flag folded into a triangle when it is folded?
The triangle shape is to symbolize the cocked hats which were worn by soldiers of the American Revolution
Day 4: According to The Federal Flag Code are flag decals proper and if so where should we place them?
While The Flag Code does not forbid using flag decals you should put them where the least amount of wear & tear will be caused. On the bumper is a big no no!
Day 5: When displaying the flag with one other flag which side should the U.S. flag be on?
The U.S. flag should be to the flag's right or the observer's left. If on a staff the U.S. flag should be over the other's flag
Day 6: Has there always been 13 stripes on our flag?
No, on January 13th 1794 Congress passed a law placing 15 stars and 15 stripes on our Flag to signify the former admissions of Vermont & Kentucky into our union in 1791/2. This move was taken because both states exerted pressure to have their states recognized in the flag. But in 1818 Congress returned the number to the original 13 as at that time more states were being admitted and adding that many stripes would have made our flag look like a zebra. So just adding more stars became the better way to go.
Day 7: Where is the largest U.S. flag in existence?
The"Superflag(http://worldamazingthings.blogspot.com/2008/07/largest-us-flag-amazing.html)", was made by "Ski" Demski, measuring at 505 feet by 225 feet and weighs 3,000 pounds, takes 500 people to unfurl, and sets the world record for the Largest US Flag.
Day 8: What does it mean if you are flying the flag upside down?
EXTREME distress is symbolized by the Flag upside down.
Day 9: How long should a flag be left upon a grave?
A Flag should be at a grave one day only.
Day 10: Should the flag be at half-staff on Veterans Day?
No, actually Veterans Day is a day of celebration for all our men and women that has serviced. Memorial Day is a day of morning and requires half-staff.
Day 11: If a flag is being carried in a parade, what should you do?
All that are able should rise and stand at attention (hand over heart or service members salute). Follow the Flag as it passes and stay at attention until it passes.
Day 12: Should the flag bearer hold any portion of the Flag against the staff (post)?
No, the Flag should fly free, symbolizing our freedoms in this land.
Day 13: Other than Memorial Day what other 3 days does the president declare the Flag at half-staff?
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7th), Patriot Day (September 11th) and Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15th).
Day 14: Would it be proper to fly a Flag or display a Flag after it's served as a casket flag?
Yes it's ok to use a Flag after being used on a casket.
Day 15: Is it ok to use the flag as a ceiling cover?
No, it's not to be used on ceilings, as a table cover, receptacle for receiving/holding/carrying/delivering in any way nor used for advertisement purposes either.
Day 16: What should you do if the Flag touches the floor?
While you don't want to drag the flag, leave it on the floor or step on the Flag, it's not a requirement to burn it if it touches the floor. And if it gets dirty it's ok to wash it as well.
For the last 13 days of the month I'll be adding the representation of each of the 13 folds to the U.S. Flag...
The first fold of our Flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong".
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The Seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our Republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower portion of the seal of Kind David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Thirtenth fold, this is the final fold and completely folds the flag so that only the stars can be seen, as they are the uppermost reminder to us of our Nation's motto, "In God We Trust." After the Flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.