CATSKILL — With Flag Day right around the corner, many Americans will break out Old Glory and fly her high and proud from atop their flag poles. During this season, we would like to remind everyone of basic flag flying etiquette, as well as disposal methods for flags that are no longer serviceable. Unless they are properly lit, your flag should only fly from sunrise to sunset. When flying your flag at half-staff, always raise your flag to full staff, then lower it back to half. If multiple flags are being flown on one pole, always ensure the American flag is flown over all other flags. If displaying flags in a row, ensure the US flag is always facing to the observers left.
For Memorial Day, it should only be flown at half-staff until noon. The half-staff position remembers the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who have given their lives in the service of their country. At noon, the flag is raised to full-staff, where it remains the rest of the day. This is symbolic of raising the memories of the dead, and the resolve of the people that these brave soldiers shall not have died in vain, that the people resolve to continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
Dip your flag to any person, vessel, or any other flags; Let the flag touch the ground; Carry anything inside the flag; Use it as clothing; Store it where your flag could get dirty; Draw on or deface your flag in any way.
If your flag is tattered or torn, it is time to retire it. Please do not throw your unserviceable flag in the garbage, or burn it yourself. There are organizations in the county that have drop boxes in place to properly dispose of unserviceable flags. Flag disposal drop boxes can be found at the following locations: American Legion building, by the pavilion, 54 Maple Ave., Greenville; Kedemah Masonic Lodge, 523 Main St., Cairo; Village of Coxsackie building, 119 Mansion St., Coxsackie; American Legion building, 61 Second St., Athens; Catskill Elks Lodge, 45 North Jefferson Ave., Catskill; Greene County Veterans Service Agency, 159 Jefferson Heights, Suite D303, Catskill; Windham VFW Post 1545, 5565 Route 23, Windham.
Check with your local American Legion and VFW posts in your community about their Flag Day Ceremonies on or near Flag Day which falls on June 14 each year.
For information, and for a copy of the new flag etiquette brochure, with US Flag Repository locations, call Greene County Veterans Service Agency at 518-943-3703.