Westchester, NY -- Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino and Vito Pinto, head of Westchester’s Veterans Service Agency, today reminded county residents of proper flag etiquette as they enter into one of the most patriotic weekends of the year.
“There’s nothing like American patriotism and this time of year the red, white and blue goes hand in hand with fireworks and hot dogs, said Astorino. “It’s important for all of us to remember what the flag represents, why it should always be respected and just how one is to do that.”
Pinto, a veteran who fought in the Vietnam war, added, “In this nation’s history, literally millions of Americans fought for our flag and all that it represents, and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice an American flag is what is presented to the families of the fallen. Regardless of political or religious affiliation or beliefs, we should all be able to unite under the idea that respect for the flag should always be afforded.”
Flag code was first adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1942 and amended several times over the years to cover many occasions and circumstances. Astorino and Pinto list the following guidelines as most relevant to local residents:
The American Flag:
Should only be displayed from sunrise to sunset.
However, when patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24-hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness.
Should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
Should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
Should not be dipped to any person or thing.
Should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor or water.
Should never be flown or placed below another flag.
Should always be on the flag’s own right (observer’s left) when against a wall and in the center and at the highest point when a number of flags are grouped and displayed from staffs.
When displayed vertically against a wall, the union or flag’s blue field should be uppermost in the flag’s top right corner (observer’s top left corner).
Should never have placed upon it any mark, insignia, letter, work, figure, picture or drawing of any nature.
When it is damaged condition and no longer fit for display should be destroyed in a dignified way. The best thing to do is to take the flag to the local American Legion or VFW post.
When the pledge is recited or national anthem is played all citizens should stand at attention and face the flag with their right hands on their heart. Men not in uniform should remove hats or other headdress during the playing of the national anthem.