Proper Flag Etiquette, What’s Right and Wrong

July 1, 2014 Updated Jul 1, 2014 at 6:16 PM EDT

By Hannah Buehler

July 1, 2014 Updated Jul 1, 2014 at 6:16 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) The American Flag is a symbol of freedom, and those who have fought for our country. Especially with the recent World Cup pride and upcoming Fourth of July holiday, some people are displaying the flag all different kinds of ways, some of those ways deemed disrespectful.

The various flag displays raises the question; is today’s youth educated when it comes to the proper flag etiquette?

“Ninety percent is the lack of education,” said John Branning, a United States Navy veteran. “It’s not that it’s a lack of respect, they just don’t know any better.”

We’ve seen the flag used as a headband, a cape, even representations of the flag being sat on as a blanket or beach towel. Veterans say this display is disrespectful.

“The only reason it should be used as a piece of clothing is to be used as bandages to bound the wounds of service members who bled for our country and that flag,” said Branning.

Every flag, even small stick flags should be properly taken care of.

“If you’re going to put a small flag out, you need to monitor it and take care of it,” Branning said. “Either replace it or make sure it stays standing like it’s supposed to be.”

What is proper flag etiquette? The American Flag should fly from dawn until dusk, and if it is flown overnight it must be illuminated. The flag should never tough the ground or water, and should never be used as a drape, including clothing.

“There’s right and wrong and people need to think before they do it,” Branning said.

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