Proudly waving


February 15, 1991|By McClatchy News Service

The Persian Gulf war seems to have filled the patriotic cup to overflowing. Fluttering forests of red, white and blue have sprouted on front porches, in front yards, in windows and on car antennas across the country.

With the increase in the number of flags displayed on front porches and front-yard flag poles, there is an increase in the number of flags being neglected, according to a flag pamphlet put out by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

There is a list of rules people should be aware of when flying the Stars and Stripes.

For instance, while there is no prohibition against displaying the flag 24 hours a day, some federal agencies discourage displaying the flag at night because it breeds neglect. And if the flag is displayed at night, it should be illuminated.

A flag should not be draped. If draping is desired, red, white and blue bunting should be used, according to the federal Flag Code, passed by the Congress in 1942.

While no law prohibits the flying of a flag on a car antenna, it should be treated with respect, the Flag Code says. "Far too many antenna flags are neglected," says a VFW pamphlet on the flag.

The Flag Code does not forbid using flag decals, but says caution should be taken because even a picture or representation of the flag is considered "the flag."

If the flag is hung flat against the wall, whether horizontally or vertically, the flag's field of stars should be to the observer's left as he or she faces the flag.

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