3 Patriotic Tips for Flag Day
The National Flag Day Foundation offers care instructions and education about America's flag
On June 14, 1777, Congress adopted stars and stripes as the flag of the United States. In honor of all things red, white, and blue, TOH spoke with John J. Janik, Chairman of , for tips and advice on honoring Old Glory.
Hang Your Flag Correctly
"Flag etiquette is very forgiving," Janik says, but there are several do's, including orienting the stars at the top left—whether it's hung horizontally or vertically—and flying it at half-staff on occasion. "Fly it at half-mast when the President or your Governor says so, and always on certain days, such as Memorial Day or 9/11," Janik notes. Read Flag Hanging Dos and Don'ts to learn more about the Flag Code's proper display guidelines.
Retire a Torn Flag With Honor
"Flags often get shredded by weather after a year and a half or so. But the flag is a symbol of our great country, so you don't just throw it in the garbage," Janik says. To dispose of it in a respectful way, you can assemble a group, say the pledge of allegiance, and burn it. Or, hand it off to the experts: Groups like the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Boy Scouts of America offer flag collection and will do it for you.
Learn the History
Want to know why Flag Day is a thing? Just ask Janik. "Flag Day started when a 19-year-old schoolteacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, had his students write essays on what the flag meant to them. He went on to inspire President Woodrow Wilson to proclaim a nationwide observance of Flag Day in 1916." In 1949, Truman made it even more official, signing an Act of Congress designating June 14th as National Flag Day.
Visit for more info on Flag Day, including events held in its Wisconsin headquarters.
Published June 14, 2015