Schools, government buildings, libraries, churches, and even many homes display our flag, especially on patriotic holidays like the 4th of July, but have you ever wondered how we got the flag? “Old Glory” is one of the oldest symbols of our country, but she wasn’t the first flag.
Old Glory, also known as The Stars and Stripes, is a reminder that we are free to work, play, worship, and speak as we wish. We can elect our own leaders, rather than being ruled by a king or queen. The flag is also a reminder of the thousands of people who sacrificed their homes, their time, their money, and even their lives for freedom.
Questions and Answers
Question: What is the correct way to handle the flag?
Answer: While there is no punishment for mistreating the flag, the National Flag Code, established in 1923, helps us understand how to treat the flag with respect. It says that the flag should never touch the floor or ground. It should fly at night only if it is lit. Only weatherproof flags should fly outdoors in bad weather. The flag should be raised quickly and lowered slowly.
Flags are flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning. Raising a flag upside down indicates distress. The flag is only flown this way in times of dire emergency. A flag is draped over the casket of a soldier or government member. The stars are placed over the top part of the casket, near the person’s heart.
Visit PBS to learn more about the flag.
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