Salute to our Flag

Hemingford’s Avenue of Flags such a sight to see. Volunteers get up bright and early on Patriotic U.S. Holidays to carefully hang each flag in it’s place. Due to inclement whether last year the flags were unable to be displayed at all. The whether has cooperated this year and the flags have been out on Memorial Day as well as Flag Day. Head toward downtown Hemingford on Saturday, July 4th to see if they are once again on display. 

The United States Flag was officially adopted as our flag in 1777. Flag Day commemorates that adoption but the first flag day was not celebrated until June 14th of 1923.

Prior to that there were no federal or state regulations governing the display of the United States Flag.

Changes were slowly made until 1942 when Congress passed a resolution protecting the flag.

The code is a long list of rules and guidelines for all handling and display of the American flag. It does not however, impose penalties for misuse of the flag.

The code states: “No disrespect should be shown to the Flag of the United States of America”.

Before you display your American flag, make sure you are familiar with flag etiquette.

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts:

The do’s

• To raise the flag, hoist it up “briskly,” but lower it “ceremoniously.”

• The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

• If you’re raising other national flags too, the U.S. flag should be raised first and lowered last.

• The U.S. flag should always be in the center and highest when displayed with other flags.

• If displaying the flag off a staff, it should be displayed flat.

• If the flag is being shown on a wall, door or window, the blue section, also known as the Union, should go on your left when displayed horizontally. If you are displaying it vertically, the Union should stay in the upper left-hand corner.

• If you are covering a casket with the flag, put the Union at the upper right-hand corner.

• A flag should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flag staffs in the open. But it may be displayed 24 hours a day if illuminated.

The don’ts

• The flag should never be displayed with the stars down, unless as a signal of dire distress.

• The flag should never touch anything underneath it, such as the floor, the ground, water or merchandise.

• The flag shouldn’t be displayed outdoors during bad weather.

• Don’t ever carry the flag flat or horizontally; it should always be aloft and free.

• Don’t improperly dispose of a flag. Damaged flags could be taken to the Box Butte County Veterans Service Office, the VFW, or the Legion.

• The flag should not be used as a drapery, or to cover a desk, drape a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

• The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure or drawing of any kind.

• The flag should not be used for advertising and should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use.

Fun American flag facts

• The flag was designed by Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey, a naval flag designer who was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

• What do the colors red, white and blue signify? According to custom and tradition, white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue, vigilance, perseverance and justice.

• What’s a canton? The blue field in the upper left corner of the flag.

• What’s a halyard? The rope used to raise the flag. It’s also called a hoist rope.

• You probably know who Betsy Ross is. But did you know that the Betsy Ross House, which is now a Philadelphia museum, asks its visitors to think about whether it’s “historical fact or well-loved fiction” that she sewed the first American flag?

The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. The Fourth of July 2020 is on Saturday, July 4, 2020.

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