Monday, 29 August 2016

The US Flag Code

America, it seems, have a few obsessions ranging from making sure they keep guns handily placed around their homes for when the Government oppresses them, Israel, God and a new found passion for all things lavatorial from either smashing them up or dictating who can use them.
Other things they have a preoccupation for is their national anthem and the flag, the latter you can see being burnt in most Middle Eastern countries but such is the enthusiasm with the national emblem that they have a Flag Code which covers all aspects of etiquette in relation to the Stars and Stripes which is enshrined in law, including how to behave when someone starts warbling 'Oh, say Can You see...'         
So what should you do when the national anthem is played?
The code states that you must stand and face the flag, if there is one with the right hand over the heart, while military personnel and veterans should salute continuously throughout.
Hats or caps must be removed and while you do not necessarily have to sing along to the anthem, it is expected.
The Flag Code states that it should not be used for any advertising purpose or printed on any material for temporary use and should also never be part of a costume or sports uniform, or used as 'wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery' which may start a few Olympians worrying as they ran around to celebrate their success covering themselves in the stars and stripes. 
The flag should never be displayed upside down but surprisingly it is not illegal to burn the US flag and is actually encouraged as the code states that flags should be 'destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning'.
So next time the news shows a bunch of middle eastern men dancing around a flaming Old Glory it is not because your nation has just bombed yet another wedding ceremony by accident, don't take umbrage, they are merely destroying your national flag in a dignified manner as per the instructions of the US Constitution so rise up from that chair guarding the toilet door, take off your baseball cap, find a flag to peer at and sing along..'Oh say can you see by the Dawn's early light...'

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