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Wearing the American Flag

By Cynthia Grosso

With all the recent hoopla about the super bowl half time, I certainly do not want to

re-open the lengthy discussions about the details surrounding the entire half-time show. However, I would like to acknowledge the faux pas when Kid Rock wore the American flag or some sort of flag costume.  I will give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he was just trying to be cool and did not realize that this act was one of total disrespect for the American flag. 


This article however, is not about condemning or criticizing, but rather about educating. I realize that the real issue is to try to keep this from happening again. Whether he knew what he was doing or not, there are many people that may not know what the correct protocol is when it comes to respecting and displaying the flag of the United States.


So what does the National Flag Code say about respecting the American flag?  Although I am not reprinting the entire flag code, here are the sections that relate to this issue.

Title 4 - Chapter 1- Sec 8 – Respect for the flag:


Paragraph D begins with “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.”


Paragraph J states “No part of the flag should ever be worn 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.” 


It is interesting that the position of the flag may change from flag staff to flag patch.

The flag when hung, has the “Union”, the blue section, in the upper left corner as you face the flag. With a flag patch, if it is worn on the left arm this same rule applies.  However, if the flag patch is worn on the right arm, then the union is in the upper right.  This is the only exception, except for a flag that would be going forward. The flag such as on the right side of a car, plane or person would lead so the “Union” would be placed in the upper right position to enable the flag to face forward and stream back.


Knowing how to respect the American flag or the flag of any country has always been and continues to be a sign of respect for that country and it’s people.












Source: Article Published in the Daniel Island News

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