Thursday, April 3, 2014

Oh, Say Can You See?

Last Saturday, it was raining cats and dogs around here.  Seriously.  I almost stepped in a poodle.

But we had to drive up to Harford Mall, and along the main road, I saw at least three houses where the American flag was unfurled at the top of a flagpole at a private home.   In the pouring rain.

I am certain that the proprietors of the flags and poles are all good Americans and true, patriotic, and only desirous of displaying both the flag and their undying patriotism.

Which is why I almost hate to mention it, but flying the flag at a private home or estate during rain or violent weather is a violation of § 6 of the US Flag Code, which states: 
(a) It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
(b) The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
(c) The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.

An all-weather flag is defined as one made of nylon or non-absorbent material, and I can't say for sure that the flags I saw were or were not all-weather flags. But as night fell, and there was no illumination provided, the flags should have been taken down and properly furled.

Maybe the lesson is that patriotism takes a little effort, installing lights if you want to fly that flag all night, or getting off the recliner and going out in the rain to lower it at dark.  Think about the people who have fought and sacrificed under that flag.  That ought to be enough motivation to fly the flag as the code says to.

It's right here for easy reference. 

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