american flags

mom and I had ice cream cones today to celebrate easter and we were both disturbed by the american flag cone wrappers that we had to tear off and throw away. Now, I’m a pretty liberal girl (and do not mind the burning of flags, either), but I do think that respect for the flag is not only appropriate but also tasteful — partly because I think people need to realize that patriotism is HARD WORK, and not something you can just literally wear on your sleeve casually.

I made a quick list of flag uses that bug the heck out of me:

* american flag bathing suits
* american flag logos on old navy apparel
* american flag underpants
* american flag tshirts, esp. if they incorporate a crying eagle, or an eagle with big talons
* american flag car accessories, including:
* tattered flags streaming from car antennas
* american flag beach towels (you stick the flag in your groin! disrespectful! and you put it on the ground! terrible!)
* people hanging out flags and leaving them up unilluminated overnight, or worse
* people not bringing in their flags in the rain
* american flag napkins, paper towels, or worse, sugar cone paper wrappers that you have to rip to remove.

and apparently, these are all if not exactly illegal, at least procribed against by custom. If only these were enforcable:

Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1 states:

Section 6 (time and occasions for display):

(a) It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

(c) The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all weather flag is displayed.

Section 7 (Position and manner of display):

(b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

Section 8 (Respect for the Flag):

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart