Closer Look

Veteran’s Day a time to focus on the flag

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Sasha Widman

As Veterans Day approaches, many take the time to honor the American flag.

Appalachian ACE Hardware, in collaboration with 828 Vets, is hosting a free flag exchange. This an opportunity for people to retire their old, no longer usable flags in exchange for a free and new one. The event will begin at 8 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 11, and will end at 10 a.m., or while supplies last.

Besides honoring individuals who have served in the U.S. military, Veteran’s Day is highly focused on the American flag, which has a long history and serves as a symbol of freedom, liberty, and unity. 

While the flag’s 13 stripes, alternating from red to white, represent the 13 original colonies, valor and bravery are represented through the color red, as well as purity and innocence represented by the color white. Its 50 stars represent the 50 states; the color blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice. 

Considering what the flag represents, and its importance to our nation, there are some honor rules regarding it, according to The Veterans of Foreign Affairs. Some include: “Do not let the flag touch the ground. Do not fly the flag flat or carry things in it. Do not use the flag as clothing. Do not store the flag where it can get dirty. Do not use it as a cover. Do not fasten or tie it back, Always allow it to fall free. Do not draw on, or otherwise mark the flag. The flag should also always be illuminated.”

In fact, Public Law 94-344, known as the federal flag code, expounds that the American flag is a living symbol and should be treated as such.

American Legion Post 108 offers a red, white, and blue-painted mailbox in which anyone can drop off old, folded flags so that they can be disposed of properly.

There is a proper way to dispose of a flag. This includes a flag retirement ceremony, often carried out by organizations like American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Located at W. Main Street, American Legion’s Post 108 site has a red, white, and blue mailbox where old, folded flags can be deposited. Additionally, if anyone wants to retire an old flag, it can be dropped off at the VFW office at 60 W. Palmer Street in Franklin.

The flag is supposed to be folded 13 times. American Legion’s Post 108 website-posted “Flag Etiquette” explains in detail how to fold a flag as well as the meaning of each fold. 

Sasha Widman is a junior and an honor student at Franklin High School.