Flag Etiquette (Part Two)

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u201CBet you a donut that George W. Bush’s US Flag lapel pin doesn’t have 50 stars. You watch he’ll stop wearing a pin until they can find a proper one.u201D

~ Mike Rogers

Well, since my article about Nit-wits and Flag pins got me so much fan mail from people who have some bizarre idea that wearing an American Flag Pin on their lapel is some sort of proof of their patriotism, I thought I’d just go and give you folks a short lesson in American civics and Flag Etiquette. I’ll make this short so that even the slower folks in the crowd can keep up.

In a nutshell: According to United States Code, Title 35, Chapter 10, the US flag should never be worn on apparel nor be displayed as a bumper sticker on a car.

The United States Code on Flag Etiquette clearly states that the flag represents the living country and is considered to be a living thing emblematic of the respect and pride we have in our nation. Display it proudly.

UNITED STATES CODE ON FLAG ETIQUETTE
TITLE 36
CHAPTER 10
PATRIOTIC CUSTOMS

  1. The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section. (b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat.

I suppose I do not need to explain that the flag should not be displayed on the bumper of your dirty, rusted-out old wreck; and while you are at it, how about giving that hunk of junk a wash and a wax job?

  1. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

Yes, the word apparel is a big word. So, I guess I may have to have the Merriam Webster Dictionary help me to explain it to some of you.

Main Entry: 1apparel
Pronunciation: &-’par-&l
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -eled or -elled; -eling or -elling
Etymology: Middle English appareillen, from Middle French apareillier to prepare, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin appariculare, from Latin apparare
1 : to put clothes on

2 : ADORN

I’ll save you the trouble of having to click on Adorn to see what that word means:

Main Entry: adorn
Pronunciation: &-’dorn
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French adorner, from Latin adornare, from ad- + ornare to furnish — more at ORNATE
1 : to enhance the appearance of especially with beautiful objects

Sorry, but a US flag has 50 stars, not 39. The nation and the flag deserve better respect than most people give it.

Finally, since I do aim to put all those fake patriots in their place with this article, I like to ask anyone to send me a photograph of a US Flag lapel pin. Now, just any pin won’t do. I want a photo of a real Made in the USA pin — not Made in China. Also! I want a real US Flag pin; that means 50 stars and 13 stripes. If it doesn’t have 50 stars, then it’s not a US flag, is it?

I’ll be waiting for tons of mail from all you real patriots. Yes, I know that Americans are often confused and ill-educated about their own nation, its history, and their own country’s civics, but that’s why guys like me are here to help out.

Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has the distinction of being fired from every FM radio station in Tokyo — one of them three times. His first book, Schizophrenic in Japan, is now on sale.

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