June 14 is Flag Day and if you don’t already own a U.S. flag then this weekend is the perfect time to find one you like and wave it with pride.Flag Day is a pretty straightforward day of observance: It’s set aside for celebrating the adoption of the U.S. flag in 1777 and was made official in 1916 by Woodrow Wilson – although first suggestions for having a nationally recognized Flag Day go back some 50 years earlier.Nevertheless, we’re giving all the credit to Woodrow. Accepted flag decorum, though, is something that has been established over many years and attitudes about etiquette vary to this day.Even so, there are some widely accepted rules and it is these that will keep you in good standing with your neighbors.U.S. Flag Handling
Don’t ever burn or step on the U.S. flag
. Those are the most important rules on flag handling, and the only rules that matter for a lot of people. But, there are a few others of note:- Don’t let it touch the ground- Fold it neatly before storing it- Keep it clean- Keep it in good condition and mend well when necessaryThere are several other more rigid rules (e.g. never dip the flag to a person or thing), but the above are the highlights.U.S. Flag Display
Most people display their American flag flat, on a staff or on a flagpole. When using a staff or flagpole
, the canton (blue part) should be positioned at the top corner flush with the peak, and when draped flat the canton should be at the top-left corner. Other tips:- Always place the U.S. flag above all others- In a line, place the flag to its own right- Avoid displaying the flag in any other way (e.g. as clothing, decoration, etc.)These rules also apply to mini flags and pins.U.S. Flag Disposal
Remember when we said you should never burn an American flag? Well, about that …This is actually the proper way to dispose of a flag, but there are some caveats:- First, fold the flag- Build a fire big enough to completely consume the flag- Once burned, bury the ashesPeople often salute, come to attention and/or say the Pledge of Allegiance as part of the ceremony, but it is not traditionally required.Now that you know, you can hoist your new American flag on Flag Day and take care of it like a true patriot.