Retiring the American Flag

By | April 28, 2018

The Harry J Will Funeral Home  located at 37000 W Six Mile Road, Livonia on the north side of the street just east of Newburgh has a blue receptacle next to this sign for disposal of old, tattered American Flags.  As noted on the sign, those flags will be retired  at a special ceremony on Flag Day, Thursday, June 14th.

Guidelines for Display of the Flag
Public Law 94-344, known as the Federal Flag Code, contains rules for handling and displaying the U.S. flag. While the federal code contains no penalties for misusing the flag, the language of the federal code makes clear that the flag is a living symbol.  The Flag Protection Act of 1989 provides that anyone who knowingly desecrates the flag may be fined and/or imprisoned for up to one year.

Important Things to Remember
Traditional guidelines call for displaying the flag in public only from sunrise to sunset. However, the flag may be displayed at all times if it’s illuminated during darkness. The flag should not be subject to weather damage, so it should not be displayed during rain, snow and wind storms unless it is an all-weather flag.  It should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

Other Things Not to Do with the Flag

Out of respect for the U.S. flag, never:

  • dip it for any person or thing, even though state flags, regimental colors and other flags may be dipped as a mark of honor.
  • display it with the union down, except as a signal of distress.
  • let the flag touch anything beneath it: ground, floor, water, merchandise.
  • carry it horizontally, but always aloft.
  • fasten or display it in a way that will permit it to be damaged or soiled.
  • place anything on the flag, including letters, insignia, or designs of any kind.
  • use it for holding anything.

When the flag is worn out or otherwise no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.