Happy Independence Day! Commonly known as the Fourth of July, this US Federal holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Independence Day is frequently associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, as well as political speeches and ceremonies that celebrate the history, government, and traditions of the United States. On this and other holidays many Americans show their patriotism by decorating with American flags.
I’ve selected a short list of pertinent points from the United States flag code as a reminder of the Standards of Respect pertaining to interior (and exterior) rules for decorating for those who do so for the 4th of July holiday:
- The flag should never be displayed with the starred blue union down, except as a signal of distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
- The flag itself should not be used as “wearing apparel, bedding or drapery”. A flag can be depicted on a piece of apparel bedding or drapery, but the actual flag can not be used for these purposes. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes.
- The flag should never be drawn back or bunched up in any way.
- The flag should never touch anything beneath it. It is considered disrespectful to the flag and the flag in question should be moved in such a manner so it is not touching the ground.
- The flag should always be permitted to fall freely.
- When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the flag should be at the peak of the staff, unless the flag is at half-staff.
- When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag, the flag of the United States must always be at the top.
- Ordinarily the flag should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset, although the Flag Code permits night time display “when a patriotic effect is desired.” Similarly, the flag should be displayed only when the weather is fair, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
- The flag should be illuminated if displayed at night.
Whether you decorate for it or not, I hope you enjoy all the things this holiday is known for – fireworks, parades, barbecues, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, and family reunions…Happy 4th of July!