Flag etiquette important

June 26, 2013 

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a veterans organization focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities. There are 2.4 million members in the United States. Our programs include American Legion baseball, Boy's State, Wounded Warrior, citizenship and flag advocacy and etiquette.

American Legion Post 166 members attend school flag raisings on several holidays during the year. We provide flag color guard service at sports and community service events and celebrations and we provide military honors, including the folding and presentation of the flag, at military funerals at the Los Banos Cemetery and the San Joaquin National Cemetery. On eight holidays during the year, we post flags early in the morning and collect them late in the afternoon at over 350 businesses and private residences throughout the city.

As advocates and educators of proper flag etiquette, we routinely advise businesses and individuals on the proper display of the flag. It should not be displayed in inclement weather unless it is a weatherproof flag made of nylon material (most are); it should not be displayed at night unless illuminated; and it should be in a serviceable condition — not tattered or torn, not faded and not dirty or stained.

When the flag is passing in review or being presented by a color guard, uniformed persons should salute and civilians should remove their head covers and place their hats or their hand over their heart until the flag passes.

Recently, we have received several calls from veterans who noticed flags along Highway 152 in serious disrepair. We ask that businesses and individuals examine the flags they proudly display and evaluate whether their flags are in good shape. If you need a new flag, we can direct you to dealers. If you need someone to properly destroy a worn flag, contact any Legion member or Boy Scout troop. Please help us keep this incredible symbol of our nation and our nation's ideals in the condition that truly reflects those ideals. Thank you.

Rick A Toscano

American Legion Post 166

VFW post 2487

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