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Observing ther U.S. flag

Dear Editor,
I would like to use this column to remind my fellow Elyites and folks in the area of a troubling trend that myself and others have noticed of late.
As a member of the Ely Area Honor Guard, a Veteran, and other organizations, it’s been noticed that folks seem to have forgotten the proper etiquette when the American Flag is presented. This could be at a parade, funeral, or a ceremony, indoors or outside.
Below is information taken from a few different websites, they say the same things in different ways.
In a nutshell, when the flag passes stop what you’re doing, remove your headgear, stand up, pay attention, and be quiet.
I would make the argument clapping, and cheering is acceptable after the flag passes you.
Below is information taken from a few different websites, they are all same the same information, in different ways.
The U.S. Flag Code, passed by Congress in 1942, provides guidelines regarding American flag etiquette. It can be accessed via the website.
Parading and Saluting the Flag
When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.
The Salute
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart
Observing the US Flag
As the US flag passes your position on the parade route, please observe the following parade etiquette rules:
• Make sure you are standing;
• If you are wearing a hat, remove it;
• Cover your heart with your right hand (military members should give a military salute); and
• Temporarily stop conversations as the flag passes.
• Non-US citizens should stand quietly.
There may be many U.S. flags in the parade (small flags waived by parade participants, flags on parade floats, etc.). You do not need to salute them all. If an honor guard is carrying the US flag, or the US flag is presented in a group of flags, stand and salute.
Now a lot of “baby boomers,” my generation, reading this will say, it’s the younger generation.. I am here to tell you from experience, that this flag problem encompasses all generations.
I have personally witnessed, Veterans, parents of Veterans, school teachers, parents not observing proper etiquette, while their kids did!, Adults, kids, teens, and grandparents. I think it’s a matter of apathy and “not knowing or forgetting the proper etiquette.
I personally think 99.9% of the folks ARE NOT doing it as a political statement, or anti-American sentiment.
In this time of such divisiveness in our country, let’s at least agree on respecting the flag and what it represents.
PS: The same applies if the flag, (colors) are officially presented indoors, i.e. school presentation, patriotic choir, during the national anthem, etc.
Also, at a funeral for a veteran, when the honor guard renders the military salute and taps are played.
Very respectfully,
Michael Pope
Ely Area Honor Guard

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