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Know the Rules for the Red, White and Blue

PHOTO: Wyomingites are being encouraged to fly the American flag for the Fourth of July holiday, with the rules of flag etiquette in mind. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith
PHOTO: Wyomingites are being encouraged to fly the American flag for the Fourth of July holiday, with the rules of flag etiquette in mind. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith
July 3, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Along with picnics and fireworks, Wyomingites are being encouraged to display the American flag for the Fourth of July holiday.

The U.S. Flag Code directs that flags on display 24 hours a day be illuminated at night, and it's OK to leave a flag out in bad weather, as long as the material is designed for it.

Mike Buss, deputy director at the American Legion's National Headquarters, says the American flag is a symbol of unity that can be honored by all citizens, regardless of their political views.

"No matter what party is in office, it represents all of us," says Buss. "It represents our country, it represents what we believe in, our freedoms – and we should always think the flag is that, and it should be respected as such."

Buss says if a flag becomes too faded or tattered, it should be taken down. An American Legion post will properly dispose of it in a ceremony.

He also encourages all Americans to fly the flag every day of the year. And he addresses a common misunderstanding when it comes to American flag-themed clothing.

"As long as an article of clothing or anything really is not made from a United States flag, then that's fine," he explains. "We see many people that will have the United States flag maybe silk-screened on a t-shirt. That's great, they're being very patriotic."

The flag's design has been modified 26 times and the current 50-star flag was ordered in 1959.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY