Care and Respect

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Flag respect is the base and foundation of all flag etiquette decisions. When millions of Americans display the Flag there are many violations of major and minor points of flag etiquette and protocol. All Americans should attempt to teach and not judge.

The U.S. Flag should always be treated with the utmost care and respect. Remember, the flag represents a living country and, as such, is considered a living symbol.

Always display the flag with the blue union field up — never display the flag upside down, except as a signal of extreme distress. If upside down, this should be only in extreme distress.

Always carry the flag aloft and free — never carry it flat or horizontally in processions or parades. The exception to this is carrying very large flags in a parade that are too big to be flown from a staff or pole.

Always keep the flag clean. Keep it safe from those who would not respect it, or do not know enough to do so, such as young children.

The flag is a symbol of us all — of all America. It is not a political symbol. It is a symbol that each American should respect, for it represents the honor, courage and sacrifice of those who struggled to preserve the ideals upon which our country was founded: Freedom, justice and opportunity for all. Contrary to other flags of the world, the U.S. Flag is the flag of the citizens – the people of all ages that make and keep America a stronghold and example of freedom.