VFW Post 4174: Long may it wave!
When General Washington was leading his troops in battle, he wanted them to feel they were fighting for a cause, and knew that troops would follow a banner or flag, just as troops had been doing since the earliest times of war. He asked a young lady to sew a flag which would represent the 13 colonies which were fighting for their independence, and a flag with six white stripes and seven red ones would make a good viewing, especially with a blue corner depicting 13 stars which represented those in the fight.
The American Flag is known around the world. Many nations showed their respect for the colors while just as many abhorred the sight of it, and tried to find ways to display disrespect. But, on June 14, 1923, it was decreed that this would become the nation’s Flag Day. A year later, there were some minor changes and on Dec. 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution which became Public Law 829, Chapter 806 regarding the proper procedures for handling our nation’s flag.
The code is a guide, but does not impose penalties for misuse of the flag, rather it is left up to the individual states or the federal government for D.C. to determine what is considered misuse. Each state has its own flag laws. The actual code goes from #179 through 189 and gives an in depth explanation of the different occasions and uses of the flag. Things like the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during darkness. It should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
In bad weather, it should not be displayed unless it’s all weather material. The flag should be displayed all days at main administration buildings of every public institution, polling places, in or near schools, especially during school days. There are specifications on where and how it should be displayed. It definitely makes for some interesting reading.
Perhaps the most important thing for our flag is to begin renewing our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, especially in schools. Our nation was founded on religious grounds; the words “Under God,” if offensive to some sects could be changed to Under Buddha, Under Jehovah or Under Allah or whomever their Deity is if that would make the different religions feel more comfortable. The pledge should not be taken out of any beginning endeavor and if people feel they cannot pledge their allegiance to the flag of our nation, maybe this isn’t the right nation for them.
We at the VFW in Lehigh Acres, celebrated Flag Day on Monday, June 14, with due ceremony and we would like everyone in this great nation of ours to join us in continuing showing our colors the respect it deserves. After all, the members of the military fought for and under this flag. They deserve our gratitude and a show of respect for what they have done to ensure the freedoms we enjoy. We may not always be perfect, but we are definitely the best the world has to offer!