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What To Do With a Flag Unsuitable for Flying

PHOTO: With the Fourth of July nearing, veteran groups say if you have a flag that's tattered or damaged, now is a good time to replace it. There is also proper etiquette for disposing of the old flag. CREDIT: FourStuarts
PHOTO: With the Fourth of July nearing, veteran groups say if you have a flag that's tattered or damaged, now is a good time to replace it. There is also proper etiquette for disposing of the old flag. CREDIT: FourStuarts
July 1, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. - As North Dakotans prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, the "Stars and Stripes" will fly across the state - but for some of those flags, it may be time for a replacement. State Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Lonnie Wangen advised that if your flag is tattered, torn, faded or frayed, you should take it to a local veterans group.

"I know that the VFW, for one, takes them. I think the one in Fargo and West Fargo will, in some cases, actually replace your flag," he said.

Old flags that are turned in to local veterans organizations are then disposed of in the proper ceremony through burning, as set by the U.S. Flag Code. Washing is appropriate for flags that are dirty or have small tears, and it is also acceptable to make minor repairs.

The proper flag etiquette is important, especially when it comes to veterans, Wangen said.

"Because many of those veterans have lost friends fighting for that flag, treating that flag with respect is important," he said, "because that's what their friends and our comrades have died for - our freedoms."

More information is available at http://www.vfw.org/Community/Flag-Education/.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND