The stars and stripes have been a symbol of America's fight for freedom for over 200 years. On June 14th the nation recognizes the significance of the flag.
VFW Commander, Don Mudd, says, "But every day should be a day that we fly our flag and recognize there's been a lot of lives lost so we can fly this flag."
Some say many of today's young people don't understand the significance of honoring Old Glory.
VFW member Bob Daugherty says, "Schools have abandoned the pledge and we're not teaching our children what this is all about."
Twelve-year-old Brittany Wilkerson says, "I learned that we burn to show respect to our country and pride to our country."
Wilkerson was the only young person at the ceremony, but she learned a lot about how to honor the flag.
Wilkerson says, "I learned the only flag that can be tattered and torn is the one from battle. The rest of them need to be burned when they get tattered and torn."
Mudd says, "You're supposed to have an intense fire so the flags burn quickly."
At Wednesday's ceremony veterans honored the flag by burning more than 300 tattered (or worn) flags that were collected over the past year by volunteer firefighters and the VFW.
Mudd says, "We take the flags after the ashes cool down and bury them. That's the proper way to handle them after they are burnt."
The men and women who served our country say showing respect for the flag reminds them of the freedom they fought so hard to defend.
Here are the basics on displaying the American flag courtesy of www.holidayinsights.com:
- The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
- In the morning, raise the flag briskly. At sunset, lower it slowly. Always, raise and lower it ceremoniously.
- The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
- The flag should not be flown in the rain or inclement weather.
- After a tragedy or death, the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days. It's called "half staff" on land, and "half mast" on a ship.
- When flown vertically on a pole, the stars and blue field, or "union", is at the top and at the end of the pole (away from your house).
- The American flag is always flown at the top of the pole. Your state flag and other flags fly below it.
- The union is always on top. When displayed in print, the stars and blue field are always on the left.
- Never let your flag touch the ground, never... period.
- Fold your flag when storing. Don't just stuff it in a drawer or box.
- When your flag is old and has seen better days, it is time to retire it.
- Old flags should be burned or buried. Please do not throw it in the trash.