With the 4th of July quickly approaching, we'll all be treated to an array of "patriotic" behaviors:
- Fireworks exploding in tiny neighborhoods, well past most (sober) people's bedtimes.
- A superfluous amount of sales that include the words "4th of July" impetuously tacked on to the advertisement.
- And of course, flags. Flags as far as the eye can see!
Even as a lily-hearted liberal, I still strongly believe in Flag Etiquette. An etiquette that will go RIGHT out the window for virtually every American during the first week of July.
OK. Let's check out a few things. USFlag.org lists various "standards of respect" for the US Flag. They include:
The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing.
You think some asshole, ISN'T going to "dip" this in chocolate? OK, that might not be the "dip" they had in mind.
It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
Pac Sun does sell "distressed jeans" perhaps this was their way of "signaling" it.
The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general.
Leave it to GettyImages to get this wrong. Pretty fucking proud of that water mark now, aren't ya?
Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
Had a 50/50 chance of getting this right. You know...like voting.
The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose.
It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions,
or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use.
Sorry Katy, I couldn't help myself.
Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
The flag should not be used as part of a costume
or athletic uniform,
except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
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 never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.
And finally -
No part of the flag should touch the ground or any other object;
Driving to the shore on Memorial Day weekend this year, I counted FIVE flags discarded on the side of the road. Because, when you're doing 80 mphs down Rt.55, there sure is a lot of wind!