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June 20, 2012Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at 3:20 PM
As Americans, we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. So raise the flag every June 14th, and every day with pride!
Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
There is a right way and a wrong way to display the flag. The American flag should be held in the highest of regards. It represents our nation and the many people who gave their lives for our country and our flag. Here are the basics on displaying the American flag:
- The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
- In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
- The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
- The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
- After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days. It's called "half staff" on land, and "half mast" on a ship.
- When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field , or "union", is at the top and at the end of the pole (away from your house).
- The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
- The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
- Never let your flag touch the ground, never...period.
- Fold your flag when storing. Don't just stuff it in a drawer or box.
- When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.
Did you Know? There is a very special ceremony for retiring the flag by burning it. It is a ceremony everyone should see.Your local Boy Scout group knows the proper ceremony and performs it on a regular basis. If you have an old flag, give it to them. And, I encourage you to attend the ceremony.
Famous Flag People:
Betsy Ross was a seamstress who made clothes for George Washington. In June, 1776, Washington approached her to make the country's first flag and the rest is history.
Francis Scott Key, inspired by the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, penned the lyrics to our national anthem as he witnessed the event as British rockets whizzed in the air while our American Flag flew in the breeze
As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.