Presentation of the flag during a ceremony should be preceded by a brief talk emphasizing the importance of the occasion. Following the presentation all present should salute the flag, recite the pledge of allegiance, and sing the national anthem.
FOLDING THE FLAG
- Two persons, facing each other, hold the flag waist high and horizontally between them.
- The lower striped section is folded, lengthwise, over the blue field. Hold bottom to top and edges together securely.
- Fold the flag again, lengthwise, folded edge to open edge.
- A triangular fold is started along the length of the flag, from the end to the heading by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open edge.
- The outer point is turned inward parallel with the open edge, forming a second triangle.
- Repeat the triangular folding until the entire length of the flag is folded.
- When the flag is completely folded only the triangular blue field should be visible.
CARE OF YOUR FLAG
The life of your flag depends on your care. Dirt can cut fabrics, dull colors, and cause wear. Most outdoor flags can be washed in mild detergent and thoroughly rinsed. Indoor and parade flags should be dry-cleaned. Many dry cleaners offer free cleaning of U.S. flags during the months of June and July. Damaged flags can be repaired and utilized as long as the overall dimensions are not noticeably altered. American Legion Posts and local governments often have facilities to dispose of unserviceable flags. Store your flags in a well ventilated area away from any harsh chemicals or cleaning compounds. If your flag gets wet, never store it until it is completely dry. Wet folds cause permanent creases. Dampness ruins fabric and causes mildew. Pole care is also related to flag care. Rust and scale cause permanent stains and some metallic oxides actually eat holes in fabric.
SIZES OF FLAGS
The size of the flag is determined by the exposed height of the flagpole from which it is flying. The only consideration is for the flag to be in proper proportion to its pole. Flags which fly from angled poles on homes and those which are displayed on standing poles in offices and other indoor displays are usually either 3' x 5' or 4' x 6'. Color guards usually carry flags measuring 4' x 6'. Other recommended sizes are shown in the following table:
|Flagpole Height (ft.)||Flag Size (ft.)|
|20||4 x 6|
|25||5 x 8|
|40||6 x 10|
|50||8 x 12|
|60||10 x 15|
|70||12 x 18|
|90||15 x 25|
|125||20 x 30|
|200||30 x 40|
|250||40 x 50|
Each year on June 14, we celebrate the birthday of the Stars and Stripes, which came into being on June 14, 1777. At that time, the Second Continental Congress authorized a new flag to symbolize the new Nation, the United States of America.
The Stars and Stripes first flew in a Flag Day celebration in Hartford, Connecticut in 1861, during the first summer of the Civil War. The first national observance of Flag Day occurred June 14, 1877, the centennial of the original flag resolution.
By the mid 1890's the observance of Flag Day on June 14 was a popular event. Mayors and governors began to issue proclamations in their jurisdictions to celebrate this event.
In the years to follow, public sentiment for a national Flag Day observance greatly intensified. Numerous patriotic societies and veterans groups became identified with the Flag Day movement. Since their main objective was to stimulate patriotism among the young, schools were the first to become involved in flag activities.
In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day on June 14. It was not until 1949 that Congress made this day a permanent observance by resolving "That the 14th day of June of each year is hereby designated as Flag Day . The measure was signed into law by President Harry Truman.
Although Flag Day is not celebrated as a Federal holiday, Americans everywhere continue to honor the history and heritage it represents
South Carolinians defending Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor in 1776 raised one of the earliest flags of American liberty. The silver crescent appeared as a badge worn on their caps. The cause for which they fought-liberty-was emblazoned on the crescent.
GREEN MOUNTAIN BOYS
General John Stark of New Hampshire commanded a militia brigade known as the "Green Mountain Boys.' Tradition relates that its green flag was flown at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777. As in many American flags, the stars here were arranged in an arbitrary fashion. Nevertheless they signified the unity of the Thirteen Colonies in their struggle for independence.
RHODE ISLAND REGIMENT
The State flags of America found their earliest forms during the Revolutionary War. The starry canton in the flag of the Rhode Island Regiment symbolized national unity, but the white field corresponded to the uniform of the State troops. The anchor symbol and motto which completed the design had been used for more than a century. The original flag may be found in the State House in Providence.
COMMODORE PERRY'S FLAG
During the War of 1812 Captain James Lawrence of the Chesapeake encouraged his men, as he lay dying by exhorting "Don't Give Up the Ship." Three months later at the Battle of Lake Erie, Commodore Perry emblazoned these words on a flag which carried him to victory. Similar flags and mottoes have inspired Americans throughout our two centuries of existence.
Originally believed to have been carried during the Revolution, this flag is now seen as having probably been made for the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1826. Its design is typical of the exuberant artistic expressions found in flags of the 19th century.
During the Civil War a special version of the United States flag-with swallowtail and stars of gold instead of white-was carried by the cavalry. General Custer and others used the flag in succeeding decades in the West.