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Sunday, June 08, 2014

"Just a Thought" Column continues in La Prensa of SA, 6-8

Just a Thought: Flag Day
By Steve Walker
Less than two weeks ago San Antonio celebrated Memorial Day saluting our Veterans who so gallantly gave their lives in defense of this nation since we became a county. This despite the torrential rain that near rained out the ceremony at Ft. Sam Houston and other venues here in the Alamo City.
This week we will celebrate Flag Day June 14 to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States. It happened on that day in 1777 by a resolution by the Second Continental Congress. Ironically the US Army also celebrates the Army’s birthday on the same date. It was officially named the American Continental Army on that date two years earlier in 1775.
In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. In August of 1949 National Flag Day was established by an act of Congress. It must be noted unlike Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, Flag Day is not an official federal holiday.
The week of June 14 which would be this upcoming week, is also designated as "National Flag Week." During the week the President will issue a proclamation urging Americans citizens to fly the American Flag for the duration of the week.

Many organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America’s National Flag and all that it represents. It is that special day for all Americans to celebrate and show respect for our flag.
It is representative of our independence and our unity as a nation, under God, indivisible. Our flag has a long history. It was at the lead of every battle fought by Americans and it even stands proudly on the surface of the moon.

For many who don’t know there is actually flag etiquette. There is actually a right way and wrong way to display the flag.
Here are the 11 basics on displaying the American Flag.

1. The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
2. In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
3. The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
4. The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
5. After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days.
6. It is called "half staff" on land, and "half mast," on a ship.
7. When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field, or "union," is at the top and at the end of the pole. (Away from your house)
8. The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
9. The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
10. Never let your flag touch the ground, never...period.
11. Fold your flag when storing. Don't just stuff it in a drawer or box.
When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash. Be patriotic and celebrate Flag Day this week. Also wish the Army a Happy 239th Birthday.
And as always, I write “Just a Thought.”
Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran, former Journalist and Justice of the Peace.

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