Nearly 10 months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks spurred a boom in the sale of American Flags, many of those flags are starting to fade and tatter.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars and Wal-Mart stores are working together to provide a way for residents to properly dispose of those worn flags.
There are specific procedures for displaying and disposing of American Flags.
Until next Monday, customers can visit any Wal-Mart, Sams' Club, or neighborhood market to drop off their used flags for proper disposal by participating VFW posts.
American Flags and poles on Front Street in Marietta also accept worn flags.
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History of the American Flag
- On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."
- Act of January 13, 1794 - provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.
- Act of April 4, 1818 - provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe.
- Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 - established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
- Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 - provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
- Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 - provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizon tally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.
Colors of the Flag
- Red = Hardiness & Valor
- White = Purity and innocence
- Blue = Vigilance, perseverance & justice
Display Your Flag on These Holidays
The flag should be displayed, from sunrise to sunset, on all days when the weather permits, especially on:
- New Year's Day
- Inauguration Day
- Martin Luther King's Birthday
- Lincoln's Birthday
- Washington's Birthday
- Easter Sunday
- Patriots Day, April 19
- National Day of Prayer, the 1st Thursday of May
- Mother's Day
- Armed Forces Day
- Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)
- Flag Day
- Independence Day, July 4th
- Labor Day
- Constitution Day
- Columbus Day, October 12th
- Navy Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
- Election Days
- Your State’s Birthday (Date of Admission to the Union
Displaying the Flag Outdoors
- When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.
- When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.
- When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flagpoles, which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States, is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
- The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
- No other flag ever should be placed above it.
- The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
Raising and Lowering the Flag
- The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
- The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.
- When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
Displaying the Flag Indoors
- When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right, and to the observer's left.
- When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.
The Flag in Mourning
- To place the flag at half-staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half-staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.
- The flag is to be flown at half-staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.
- When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.
- The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
- When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.
- Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Contact your local American Legion Hall and inquire about the availability of this service.
Source: www.usflag.org contributed to this report.