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Flag Day

Did you know yesterday was Flag Day? It’s on June 14th, every year. Has been since 1916.

Some of you may know this, but for those who don’t…

Our flag was fashioned to represent the union of the various states into one country. The first US Flag was officially commissioned on June 14, 1777. It started with the original 13 colonies. As each new state was added to the country, a star was added to the flag. It now has 50 stars, but keeps its original 13 stripes.

The Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key on September 13, 1814. It was inspired by the British bombing of Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812. It became our National Anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931.

The Pledge received official recognition by Congress until June 22, 1942, when the Pledge was formally included in the U.S. Flag Code. The official name of The Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945. The last change in language came on Flag Day 1954, when Congress passed a law, which added the words “under God” after “one nation.”

The U.S. Flag Code is actually a legal document, and is quite extensive.
I believe we, as citizens (and non-citizens), have lessened the laws of respecting our flag. It used to be if you stepped on or burned the flag in protest, it was jail time. However, in the 1990 court case, United States v. Eichman, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision struck down a congressional act that prohibited flag burning, citing the First Amendment’s protection of speech.

For the purposes of this blog, Flag Day, there is an official way to “retire” a worn/ tattered US Flag.
Burning is the preferred method in the U.S. Flag Code (Section 176), “A national flag that is worn beyond repair may be burned in a fire. The ceremony should be conducted with dignity and respect and the flag burned completely to ashes.”

Many people do know that you aren’t supposed to just throw your old US Flag out with the trash, but they are unsure what to actually do with it. Or… they know it has to be “properly retired” but don’t know where to take it. Consequently, lots of folks have old flags in their closet or garage.

If you live in the Raleigh, NC area, you can take your flag to Hope Community Church’s Raleigh or Apex campus. Mark it MFM (Military Family Ministry) and when they get a dozen or so, they turn them over to a scout troop for proper retirement. You can also turn them in to a local
• Scout troop
• VFW
• American Legion

I know Flag Day has passed for this year, but you don’t have to wait for Flag Day to replace your worn/tattered US Flag. You can do it anytime. Just get it to the proper group, they’ll be happy to take it from you.

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