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.


 
 

 
Stephanie Caffall

Women’s history showcased during special event Wednesday

Stephanie Caffall Fort Huachuca’s Thunder Mountain Activity Centre was the site of an event titled, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” Wednesday in celebration for National Women’s History Month. After the reading...
 
 
DoD

DOD warns troops, families to be cyber crime smart

WASHINGTON — Defense Department employees and their families should be vigilant when guarding personal and work information from expanding cyber-criminal activity, and to know how to recognize scammer tactics, according to DOD’s chief information officer. Terry Halvorsen issued a DOD-wide memorandum March 18 about the growing threat of cybercrime “phishing” and “spear phishing” in e...
 
 

Army health leaders advocate for importance of nutrition

WASHINGTON — During National Nutrition Month in March, “we encourage each of you to renew a commitment to achieving your personal Performance Triad goals,” said Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” she said. The Performance Triad focuses on the importance of sleep, activity and nutrition...
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Convoy exercise helps ready 111th MI Bde. for emergencies

Natalie Lakosil Soldiers from the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade take a short rest in lower Garden Canyon before returning to the motor pool as part of a convoy training exercise Wednesday. The exercise helps the brigade s...
 
 

Fort Huachuca Criminal Punishment Bulletin – February

For the month of February, in addition to Court-Martial and U.S. Federal Court Proceedings, 31 Soldiers were disciplined under Article 15, UCMJ; and 25 Soldiers were administratively separated, including 2 for misconduct. The following are notable recent criminal proceedings: A specialist assigned to the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion was tried at a General Court-Martial. The...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

111th MI Bde. NCO, Soldier, Platoon Sgt. of Quarter winners selected

Natalie Lakosil Sgt. Jason Grider, Alpha Company, 309th Military Intelligence Battalion, inspects uniforms during the in-ranks inspection portion of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade Non-commissioned Officer of the Quarte...
 




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