Proper flag etiquette is too rare

Published 9:53 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2017

To the editor:

One of my fondest memories of my military service was of our daily flag detail.

I loved the precision, the custom and the honor that were displayed in the daily raising and lowering of “Old Glory.”

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Our flag is a living symbol of our nation’s people, our pride, our strength, our past, our future, our commonality and our diversity. No one honors the flag like our military.

Not so in the private sector. Many businesses fly the flag as a mere decoration or a marketing ploy to draw customers. All federal buildings, like post offices, are required to fly the flag.

But how many of them actually know and practice correct flag etiquette?

I pass 10 flags each night on my way home from work. On May 19, of the 10 flags I passed, only two were properly displayed. Those two were at Mike Duman Auto and Duke Automotie.

I think it’s embarrassing that car dealerships display more honor and flag etiquette better than our post office, courthouse and visitors’ center.

I have personally written and spoken to Bruce Babbs, our postmaster, on several occasions about this, and he has promised to correct the problem, but it continues.

I have also spoken to the people at the visitors’ center across the street and given them both printed copies of correct flag etiquette. They have a light on their flag at night, but they are not open at night to make sure that light is working properly, and currently, it is not. The light that is supposed to light the flag lights only the pole, about halfway up, not the flag!

The courthouse flag isn’t lit at all, and they also do not take their flag down at night. The flag should not be flown at night, unless there is a light on it, or in severe weather.

If any business or individual cannot or will not show proper respect for our nation’s flag, they should not be allowed to fly it. And I think that citations should be issued by the city to anyone flying the flag improperly.

Maybe if they have to pay a fine, they will be more conscious of the proper etiquette.

Dolores Rosario