Don't those flags look nice downtown?

I was all set, in my mind, to write a judgemental column about people who don’t take proper care of their U.S. flags out in front of their business places. Then, on my first day of flag duty (we didn’t partake during the winter), I forgot to bring ours in when I left work.

This is my toned down message about taking proper care of the U.S. flag if you display it in front of your business place. This applies to home flags also.

First, I will say I was kind of skeptical about the whole flag distribution on Main Street plan. My negative thoughts went something like this: they won’t put them out; they’ll leave them out in all kinds of weather; and my most confessable thought—in this free country, we don’t have to display the flag just because someone else thinks it is a good idea; we are not required to be patriotic or make a show of patriotism.

But, lots of people are very pleased to display the flag of our country, and it looks very nice when the flags are fluttering in our business district.

Please take care of your flag in the following ways:

Bring the flag in at night. The U.S. flag must be illuminated if left out in the dark. And — street lights don’t count. A light shining on the flag is what is required.

Bring the flag in during inclement weather, especially if it is in danger of flying away.

If your flag is tipping sideways, try putting some kind of shim in the hole along the pole. It will look so much nicer standing up straight.

Finally, don’t feel bad if you can’t handle this every day. Put the flag out when you think of it. Bring it in at night, especially if it is your day for flag duty!