Submitted by Veterans Funeral Care, Moline, IL
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that established our United States flag. Betsy Ross, an acquaintance of George Washington who owned a small upholstery shop with her husband, is credited with making the first American flag and changing the stars on the flag from six-pointed to easier-to-produce five-pointed stars.
Inspired by decades of school, local, and state recognition festivities, Flag Day — the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 — was officially established by Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.
Flag Etiquette 101
- The U.S. flag, when displayed with flags of other nations, should always be hoisted first and taken down last.
- The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing.
- If the flag is hung on a wall or displayed in a window, the union should be on the viewer’s top left.
- Flagpoles affixed to a windowsill of a home or other building should have the flag with the union at the peak of the pole.
- When the flags are displayed in a courtroom or hall against a wall with crossed staffs, the U.S. flag should always be on the right (the flag’s right, not the viewer’s) and the U.S. flagpole should be on top of the second flag.
- An American flag carried in a parade or other procession should always be in the front in a line of several flags, or to the right of a second flag.
- No flag should be torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
- The flag should never be stepped on.
- No marks such as logos, insignia, letters, words, designs, or figures should be attached to the flag.
- The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
- The flag should never be used to carry or hold anything.
- Never use the flag for advertising. Its image should not appear on boxes, paper napkins, plates or anything made to be discarded.
- Do not use the flag for clothing or as a costume.
- The flag must be properly illuminated at night and taken down during foul weather, unless it is made from all-weather material.
- An upside down flag (with the starred blue union at the bottom) is a distress signal for instances of extreme danger to life or property.
- The flag should never touch anything beneath it. The flag code does not state that a flag that touches the ground should be burned. If it does touch the ground and become soiled, clean it as soon as possible by hand and let it dry before hanging it up for display.
— Adapted from U.S. Flag Code
When a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. After your flag has been burned, the ashes should be buried. Veterans Funeral Care and Trimble Funeral and Cremation Centers will accept your flag and “retire” it honorably at the time of the cremation of a Veteran. Flags can be brought to Trimble’s Moline Center, Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
The Flag and Funerals
When the flag is draped over a casket, the blue field should be placed at the head over the left side of the casket (in order to be positioned as close to the heart as possible).
Veterans Funeral Care, a subsidiary of Trimble Funeral and Cremation Centers, offers the Veterans Funeral Plan™, which is designed to offer veterans and their spouses a dignified yet affordable option for funeral services. Additionally, Veterans Funeral Care recognizes active military, veterans, and their families all year long, but especially Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Veteran’s Day. During December of last year the Trimble family initiated Operation Toy Solider, to collect toys for the children of active Quad City military families.
Flag Day June 14, 2014 is also the date of the 2014 Quad Cities Military Salute Gala, which is another way Veterans Funeral Care fulfills the Quad Cities Military Community Covenant. This covenant pledges to care for service members, veterans, and their families. Veterans Funeral Care and Trimble Funeral and Cremation Centers are supporting this as a Community Partner Sponsor to recognize those who have sacrificed so much for their nation.
On November 7, Veterans Funeral Care will collaborate with InTouch Adult Day and Home Care Services and Hospice Compassus for the Quad Cities Veterans Recognition Celebration, bringing together hundreds of area veterans. Eric Trimble, owner and licensed funeral director and embalmer, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for this moving Veterans Day event. For more information, call 877-767-VETS or visit www.QCVeterans.com.
Photo credit: Wellford Tiller/Thinkstock