Flying the flag takes some thought

Posted 6/4/10

One of the first things I noticed about my house when my wife and I bought it was the flag holder attached to one of the pillars on the front porch. …

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Flying the flag takes some thought


One of the first things I noticed about my house when my wife and I bought it was the flag holder attached to one of the pillars on the front porch.

Since moving in, I’ve occasionally looked at flags to fit that holder that I could place outside on various holidays like the one that kicked off the week. I’ve never found the right one.

Every one I see either has a flimsy pole or a certain not-rightness about it that I can’t really put my finger on.

I’m not a flag snob of any sort, but any American flag I fly has to be special in some way.

When I was a kid, we had a couple of small American flags around the house and I was allowed to have one. The one I chose just struck me a certain way and I don’t know whether it was the feel of the material or the decorative top of the small pole it was attached to or what, but that flag just felt right to me.

I’m not sure what flag etiquette would say about the mound of clay that I planted that flag in, but I can assure you that it was planted there to hold it up straight on one of my bedroom shelves out of pure respect on my part.

Over the years, I have taken seriously the way in which a flag should be flown, mostly because I have unknowingly displayed them incorrectly in the past, which is embarrassing. I should have known better at the time.

I have since had conversations with people about how various businesses around town do a disgraceful job caring for and presenting their American flags.

So putting a flag out in front of my house on holidays is not a decision I take lightly and not something I want to screw up.

A week or so ago, there was a knock on my door from one of the boys up the street who belongs to Boy Scout Troop 54. He and a fellow scout and my neighbor from two doors up where carrying a great flag. It was bigger and of better quality that the ones I normally see for sale and it was attached to a bright white pole. It looked great.

They explained to me that for $40, members of the Scout troop would put that flag in my yard five days of the year (Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4, Veterans Day and Sept. 11).

Finally, this flag felt right.

Who better to take care of the flag than Scouts and what better way to support their troop than pay for a service such as this. The more we can display flags on these important days, hopefully the true meaning of these days won’t have to live in the shadow of the all important three-day weekend they create.

Does this mean I won’t buy my own flag or learn, as we all should, how to care for one properly? No. In fact, it inspires me learn more about caring for the flag so that I am worthy of owning one again someday.

When I woke up Monday morning and got ready to come to the office, I hadn’t really forgotten about Memorial Day as much as I just hadn’t taken time to think about it yet. But when I hit the button to open my garage door, there was my flag, planted as promised by Scouts in the corner of my lawn.

It was perfect.

Jeremy Bangs is the managing editor of Colorado Community Newspapers.


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