By CHRIS AGEE
Today is Flag Day and locals will have an opportunity this weekend to take part in an official flag retirement ceremony at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2399.
In addition to proper display etiquette, flag disposal involves specific customs, which will be implemented during Saturday’s ceremony.
The retirement will coincide with a senior health fair at the post, which is located at 1400 S.E. VFW Street in Mineral Wells.
“Citizens that come can either sit there and watch or participate and actually retire flags,” said Jane’t Fisher, the post’s administrative manager.
Ceremonies will be held at 3:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 5 p.m. The VFW’s Senior Health Fair will continue until 6 p.m.
On its website, http://www.vfw.org/Community/Flag-Education/, the VFW offers the following etiquette tips to remember this Flag Day:
• The U.S. flag should be flown at peak, above any other flag.
• When grouped with other national flags, it should flown at its own right and at the same height.
• Marchers should always carry the flag at their right – the observer’s left.
• When displayed with a speaker’s platform, it must be above and behind the speaker; and, if mounted on a staff, it should be on the speaker’s right.
• Flags should not be used for decoration.
• Individuals in uniform should render a military salute while members of the armed forces not in uniform may choose to do the same. Everyone else should stand at attention facing the flag with their right hand over the heart. Hats may be removed with the right hand and held at the right shoulder, so the hand remains over the heart.
• The flag’s stars should face either north or east – depending on its direction – when flying over a street.
• It is flown at half staff on Memorial Day until noon.
• The flag should never touch the ground and should not be flown upside down except in the case of an emergency.
• Never cary the flag flat or with items inside of it and it should never be used as clothing.
• Do not store flags where they can become soiled and never draw on or otherwise mark the flag.
• The flag should not be fastened or tied; it should always be allowed to fall freely.
When disposing of a flag, the VFW lists the following rules:
• The flag should be folded customarily and placed on a fire large enough to consume it.
• Individuals present can salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and observe a moment of silence.
• The fire should be extinguished upon its consumption of the flag and ashes should be buried.
• Always remember to obey local and state fire ordinances.