Home with Dean Sharp

Home with Dean Sharp

Listen to Home with Dean Sharp on Saturdays from 6 AM to 8 AM and Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM on KFI AM 640!Full Bio


American Flag Etiquette

One of the most important things Americans should know is proper American flag etiquette.

Memorial Day weekend is here, Fourth of July is near, and many Americans want to show their patriotic side. But you don't want to do it wrong.

So Dean reached out to his dear friend Marine Corporal Miguel to help him explain flag etiquette.

Marine Corporal Miguel Juarez, is a Combat Operations veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 5th Battalion, which is a High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems battalion in the 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton.

Corporal Juarez is a recipient of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 2 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, as well as about 10 more that will take too long to list. Him and his wife Nina are the owners and operators of Hard Charger Training Center, a personal training gym and fitness boot camp in Thousand Oaks.

There's no one better to discuss proper flag etiquette with.

Back in 1923, there was a US Flag Code was passed by Congress. The code is merely a guideline. It does not impose penalties for misuse. That doesn't mean as Americans that we shouldn't properly display our flags

Starting off it's important to understand flag code violations.

No other flag can be in a superior position to the American flag. When other flags or pennants are flown on the same halyard the US flag should always be at the peak, raised first, and lowered last. When the flags are flown from adjacent or crossed halyards, no flag should be higher or to the right of the US flag.

You’re not supposed to wear the flag or use the American flag in advertisements. Flag napkins are in violation of the code. Stamps with the flag on it could possibly be violating the Flag Code. The flag should not be printed or otherwise impressed on … anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”

On uniforms the field of stars is to be worn closest to the heart and the flag should look like it’s advancing, not retreating. So, if a patch is worn on the right sleeve, it should be applied backwards.

Your flag should also never to be touched by darkness. It also needs to be flown only from sunrise to sunset unless properly illuminated … which includes dark stormy days. It can be flown in inclement weather, but only if the flag is made of all-weather material, and never in darkness.

When it comes to displaying the flag at half staff. It's important to know when to do it.

It's done to pay respect to fallen public figures or soldiers and to be first hoisted to the peak of the staff for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

On Memorial Day - half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.

There's also certain ways for Americans to show public respect to seeing the flag in person.

During a hoisting or lowering or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all present stand at attention with right hand over the heart. Men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Those in uniform should render salute. If moving, salute should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

It's also important to know when it's time to retire your flag and get a new one.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to retire a United States flag if it has touched the ground. Just correct the situation immediately and if the flag has been dirtied, clean it by hand. A flag need only be retired if it “is in such a condition that is no longer a fitting emblem for display. ” When a flag is retired, “it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” Old flags can be taken to a local VFW for proper disposal.

For more information, listen to the amazing conversation with Dean and Marine Corporal Miguel Juarez below.

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