Thursday, September 09, 2010
Fold The Damn Flag Properly, If You Are Going To Fly It!
I was having dinner at The Farmers Market in Los Angeles, and I saw one of the security guards go over to the flag poles and take down the California state flag first, and then the United States flag last. I was appalled, to say the least, at the manner in which the individual handled the flags. While there are no rules for lowering and folding most flags, there are an abundance of rules (see here, here, here, here and here) as to how the American flag is to be raised, lowered and FOLDED. In fact, there is a section of our government code about the flag, entitled United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag. Needless to say, after I finished eating, I tried to locate the management office, but first found the little police station that is on the premises, and lo and behold, the American flag was all bundled up in a mess as if just tossed onto the bench in the office! I nearly freaked. I was raised in a military family and I knew how to fold a flag when I was a little girl, and was just blown away that I saw the flag in a crumpled mess on a bench, no less. I explained my problem with the flag, and the officer told me the business office of The Farmers Market was still open. So I went up there and talked with one of the staff and suggested that she bring it up to management to properly train the employees who handle the American flag on the correct way to fold it. She asked for my name and telephone number, which I gave her, and said she had no idea there was a certain way to handle the flag, but that she would give the message to the day staff that would be the ones to act on it.
To be safe, I emailed the Farmers Market via its website and included the same links here in this post on how to fold the flag, and what each fold of the flag actually means.
Some interesting things to know: the flag should NEVER touch the ground, and if it does, it should be burned; the flag should not be old and ratty, when it gets to that stage it should be burned; the flag should always be stored in a clean container; the flag should always be carried aloft and never draped over an object except when used in military funerals where it is draped over the coffin; the flag should never be worn as a garment; the flag should never be flown upside down (expect in an extreme emergency and when used to alert or seek help).
And it should never be handled like this: