Credit: JayMcBean | BigStockPhoto.com

Here’s how you’re supposed to fly the flag on Memorial Day weekend

You might not even bother with it. Maybe you don’t have one of those little flag bracket thingies on your house. But just in case you’ve got an actual American flag in the basement and you feel like flying it this Memorial day weekend, here are some Flag FAQs:

1) Can I fly the flag in inclement weather? (Important question around here!)

You can display your flag in inclement weather if it’s made of all-weather material, like nylon, for example. To keep it secure in windy conditions, buy a sturdy bracket, preferably one with a screw that can be tightened on the flagpole to hold it in place.

2) What if I don’t have a pole or equipment for flying a flag?

If you don’t have equipment for flying the flag, you can still display it against a wall or in a window. Attach it to the wall so that the stripes are displayed either horizontally or vertically and so that the blue union square with the stars is positioned at the top, on your left, as you or someone outside your house looks at the flag.

(or there’s always this way:)

Credit: Nyul | BigStockPhoto.com
Credit: Nyul | BigStockPhoto.com

Which brings us to

3) Can I wear the American flag as clothing?

You should not use the American flag as an article of clothing. However, in 1976 an amendment was made to the U.S. Flag Code that allowed uniforms for military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic groups to use a flag patch or pin near the left side, closer the heart.

4) Can I fly my flag at night?

It is a universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on flag poles/staffs that are outside. However, it can be on view 24 hours a day if properly lighted at nighttime.

5) What happens if my flag touches the ground?

You are not supposed to let a flag touch the ground. When we were kids, they always told us that you have to destroy the flag if it touches the ground. That seems like a waste, and you don’t actually have to do that, as long as it’s not damaged. Mildly soiled flags can even be washed or dry-cleaned if necessary.

6) What if my flag is old, damaged and needs to be retired?

A flag may eventually become soiled or tattered if it spends a lot of time outdoors.According to the U.S. Flag Code, it must then be destroyed respectfully, preferably by burning. Should this be the case, a local VFW Post, or American Legion Post can assist you in properly retiring the flag.

If you choose to fly the flag this weekend, good for you — and either way, we should all spend time remembering the men and women who died serving and protecting our country and the freedom we all enjoy. That’s really what Memorial Day is all about, right? Right?

AboutJohn Fisher

John is a Midwest native who started his Northwest radio career in 1992 after moving to Seattle from Chicago. He’s an avid cyclist, painter, traveler, foodie, and dog lover (Hazel and Gizmo, both shelter dogs.) He’s worked with various animal organizations including PAWS, Seattle Humane Society and Seattle Animal Shelter. John got a late start on fatherhood – he and his wife have a 5-year-old son named Dawson who already has a crush on Katy Perry.