Holidays

On Flag Day, salute Old Glory – and Bernard J. Cigrand

The American flag is displayed before the match of the USL Western Conference first round playoff game Oct. 21, 2016, between the Republic FC and the visiting Orange County Blues FC at Bonney Field.
The American flag is displayed before the match of the USL Western Conference first round playoff game Oct. 21, 2016, between the Republic FC and the visiting Orange County Blues FC at Bonney Field. Special to The Bee

Wednesday is Flag Day, a commemoration that has its roots in 1885.

That’s when when Bernard J. Cigrand, a Wisconsin schoolteacher, arranged for his district to recognize June 14 of that year (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of the flag) as “Flag Birthday.” In 1916, President Wilson recognized the day by proclamation. And in 1949, the date was made official when President Harry Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14 as National Flag Day.

Here are rules for displaying the flag, as provided by usa.gov:

  • When: You can display the flag outside from sunrise to sunset. If you want to fly it after dark, it will need to be lit. Don’t fly the flag during inclement weather, unless it’s an all-weather flag.
  • On the porch: The union of the flag – the blue section with white stars – should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended from a rope on a pole extending from a house, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
  • On the wall or the window: When the flag is displayed on a flat surface like a wall, the union should be at the top left.
  • On the street: The flag should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, so make sure it’s hoisted at the proper height.
  • At the office: Suspend the flag vertically with the union to the observer’s left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north when entrances are to the east and west, or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.
  • On a vehicle: The staff should be fixed firmly on the right side of the vehicle. Do not drape the flag over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or a boat.
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