Letter to the Editor: Show the flag its proper respect

John O’Meara writes the American flag is a patriotic symbol - not a political one.

A recent letter in The Sun was captioned ‘Help Decorate Moorestown with flags.’ I write to encourage that any flag display be proper and respectful.

Our flag symbolizes our national unity and the founding principles of liberty and justice. It flies daily at our public institutions at schools on school days, and at polls on polling day. We salute it when raised and lowered. It is more than a decoration.

Too often, our flag is not shown basic respect. It is put up and forgotten. When ordered to half-mast, many don’t adjust. Recently, people in both political parties displayed American flags imprinted with slogans and images, which is specifically prohibited in the Flag Code. On Jan. 6th, an insurrectionist used our flag to attack a police officer.

I am a veteran. Flying the flag properly honors and respects both veterans and our country. The Flag Code (4 USC Ch. 1) sets out the respectful display of our flag. Some basics are:

  • The flag is only flown sunrise to sunset, unless illuminated with a spotlight.
  • The flag is brought in during rain or inclement weather, unless it is a specifically designated as an all-weather flag.
  • When ordered, all flags are flown at half-staff, not just those on flag poles. For instance, on Memorial Day, the flag is flown at half-staff until noon. For hung flags or house flags that cannot be lowered, the accepted practice is to display a black ribbon or pennant at the flag’s union (blue star field).

Our flag is a patriotic symbol, not a political one. It is more than just another lawn ornament or house decoration. Please fly our flag with respect!

John O’Meara