Commentary

May 23, 2014

Flag etiquette – Raise, lower American flag properly on Memorial Day

Jesse Bustamante
Special to the Scout

I have always felt that summer is, above all else, a patriotic season. In my mind, summer barbeques and pool parties are as purely American as “baseball and apple pie.” Within these coming months, Americans will honor Memorial Day, celebrate Independence Day, and remember the 70th Anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 1944) and the 151st Anniversary of Gettysburg (July 1 – 3, 1863).

I was recently stumped when my former [Buena High School] Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Monty McDaniel, asked me about the origins and proper American flag etiquette of Memorial Day. Before conducting research, I asked similar questions to my friends and Family. Few could give me answers. It is therefore necessary for many Americans to re-think how and why we respect the American flag on Memorial Day.

On Memorial Day, we remember all the patriots who have died in our nation’s service. While there are many regional stories to the origins of Memorial Day, Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, ordered that flowers were to be placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868.

Throughout the following years, different states declared their own “Decoration Day” to remember the casualties of the Civil War. The meaning of “Decoration Day” changed during World War II to remember all service members who have fallen in our nation’s service. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which declared Memorial Day a national holiday on the last Monday in May. This legislation was first put into effect in 1971.

On Memorial Day, the American flag is flown at half-staff until noon. At noon, the American flag is raised to full-staff until sunset. Flying the American flag at half-staff is a symbol of mourning, and on Memorial Day, the half-staff American flag is evidence of the grief and remembrance throughout our nation. When the American flag is raised to full-staff from noon until sunset, it shows that our nation also honors all current and future veterans.

To properly raise a flag to half-staff, the flag must be raised to full-staff for a moment and then be ceremoniously lowered to half-staff. Before being removed from the flagpole, the flag must be raised again to full-staff and then lowered. It is always important to raise the American flag briskly and to lower the American flag ceremoniously.

(Editor’s note: Jesse Bustamante was a member of the Buena High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program for all four years of high school. He is currently finishing up his freshman year at Northern Arizona University.)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Army IMCOM photo by Amanda S. Rodriguez

Civilian mentor program shapes Army installation management’s future

U.S. Army IMCOM photo by Amanda S. Rodriguez U.S. Army Installation Management Command mentors and mentees work on teambuilding skills, building a block tower in total silience, during the IMCOM Headquarters Centralized Mentori...
 
 
DoD

DFAS reminds DoD employees to review tax withholdings

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service gave U.S. Department of Defense employees a friendly reminder to review withholdings from their paycheck, in an email last week. If a large tax refund was received or you owed a large amount in taxes during the recent tax season, you may need to look over your federal and...
 
 

Odierno: Information, instability travel at similar speeds

ASPEN, Colo. – As the world has become more interconnected and information travels faster than ever before, it also has become more unpredictable and dangerous, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said here last night. “People now understand more about what other people might have, what they might want, how much control they want...
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Post children attend Vacation Bible School week

Gabrielle Kuholski Pictured with the microphone, Colleen Sherod, 20, Vacation Bible School volunteer, emcees a review of the week’s religious lessons as VBS students hold up posters of their “Bible buddies.” The activity ...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

Seifert School-Age Center offers fun for kids, piece-of-mind for parents

Maranda Flynn Selene Ferro, 9, Jaliah Eldridge, 7, and Malachi Bergstrom, 7, build a puzzle train city in the creative play area of the first through third grade room at the Seifert School-Age Center. Creative play allows child...
 
 

Coronado National Forest fire crew assists with Oregon firefighting efforts

TUCSON, Ariz. – An initial attack firefighting crew from the Coronado National Forest has been assigned to firefighting duties on the Logging Unit Fires north of Warm Springs, Oregon. Coronado Crew 5 was ordered as a firefighting resource on July 16, 2014. The crew departed July 17, arriving at the fires on July 18. Crew...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin