Why hello there, how are you today? Nice of you to come over for some lemonade, did you happen to see how patriotic our house looks? I just love red, white and blue bunting, one of my favorite things to decorate with! And of course the American Flag flying in the wind makes the home look festive as well. I have a deep love for the flag, not only because I was a DOD (Department of Defense) kid growing up but also because I got to work for the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History and they house The Star Spangled Banner, you know, the flag that inspired the National Anthem. The exhibit is so amazing, I wish I was able to take photos to show you, but because it is a one-of-a-kind- artifact, as is all things at the Smithsonian, flash can really wear and ruin objects. But here is a photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution at NMAH of the Star Spangled Banner Exhibit.
The website is truly amazing and interactive if you get a chance to visit it. I of course recommend visiting in person at least once during your lifetime. I promise you will be inspired, moved and humbled by all the feats our country has undergone and how majestic the Star Spangled Banner is.
Here’s a couple pictures of my time working there. I’ll dig into my own archives and see if any other photos would be fun for future posts, so stay tuned!
This is me!
The Smithsonian Institution or Castle as we call it but there’s actually 20 museums.
This is a typical donation ceremony during the day at the museum. As you can see, the public is allowed to watch and we of course invited the media as well. I’m so lucky I got to be a very small part in planning these types of events. Was truly a fantastic group to work with and a wonderful experience. I believe the Red Sox were donating a few artifacts that morning. But behind this grey wall is the Star Spangled Banner Exhibit. So don’t miss it!
So whether you’re someone who has a flag flying on a 10 foot permanent flag pole for all to see or you simply pop your flag on the front of the house for special occasions, I thought I would share a few etiquette rules for how to treat Ol’ Glory.
- The American Flag should fly between sunrise and sunset. If left up past dusk, it should be well lit.
- If the flag is hung vertically or horizontally straight, the Union Blue part should be to the observer’s left, same as in a window.
- Always allow the flag to fly freely, meaning don’t tie it down completely.
- If you decorate your truck for a parade, the flag needs to be on the right fender.
- Never set anything on it or use it as a table cloth. Better to buy a red table cloth with stars or a pattern inspired by red, white and blue, but never an actual flag.
- Keep it clean! If there are tears or stains, replace it! My mother-in-law who retired with the military, was at a store once and their flag they were flying outside was in terrible shape. She walked into the store (where they also sold flags) and told them to replace it immediately. They did, so no excuses!
- If you know how to fold the flag into a proper military triangle, then go for it. If not, as I keep mine on it’s pole, I carefully roll mine around the pole and store in a clean space. It’s not necessarily proper, but it’s practical and respectful. The most important thing is not to bunch it up in a wad and throw it in a drawer.
- Our friends at AmericanFlags.com have a nice assortment of solar lights that can be affixed to a pole or from the ground.
- They also have a great variety of American Flags to choose from such as the Heritage Antique, Outdoor Embroidered Star, and an All American Nylon type, to name a few.
- Whichever you choose or where ever you buy, make sure it’s American Made.
These tips are such a few that I think are relevant to you but if you need more specifics visit, American Flags.com or Military.com. God Bless America!