Ulster County locals honor and celebrate Flag Day and our Alexandra Weishaupt shares the importance of the American flag on our national day of recognition.
KINGSTON, N.Y. – Sixty-three years ago, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th as National Flag Day. The official day the United States remembers and honors the America Flag.
“It’s to recognize the fact that the flag has got a significance to it, that it represents our country, the men who fought for the country and gave people the freedom that they have today,” said Joseph Forte of the Kingston Post 150 American Legion.
And as Americans honor the symbol of the stars and stripes, it’s important to remember proper flag etiquette.
“The American flag is always at the top on the flagpole. You’ll never see another flag above it,” said Director of Ulster County Veterans Services Steven Massee.
Massee says the flag should be hung on a wall with the star field to the left and if handled on a day of mourning, the flag will fly at half staff for the amount of time that either the governor or the president decides.
“When it’s coming down from the flagpole, you collect it from the bottom and make sure it doesn’t touch the ground and when you’re folding it it’s a two man job,” said Massee.
And not only should the flag be treated with the upmost respect when its being used, but it should also be treated that way when it’s being retired.
“If it’s unserviceable, it’s faded, ripped anything like that, you can bring it to a local veterans organization and they will dispose of it in the proper manner,” said Forte.
That includes burning the flag respectfully and American Legion posts have a place on their property just for that reason.
“It’s not just any old burn barrel, it’s just not any old fire pit, it’s for that purpose and it’s just to give the flag its proper respects,” said Forte.
Massee says there is no law in burning a flag on your own, but if you’re not familiar with the customs, it’s better to turn it over to someone who does it, and does it right all the time, so we can carry on the traditions of the American Flag the right way and continue to appreciate and celebrate our national symbol on June 14th.