To help members of the public show respect to the American flag, the VFW website publishes the official rules for displaying, storing, and disposing of the flag. Here are the general rules:
– Display: The US flag should never be displayed in the dark. The VFW advises lowering the flag between sunset and sunrise or placing the flag under a permanent light source. The flag must always be at the top of the pole when it is sharing a staff with other flags.
– Storage: The US flag must always be protected from dirt, moisture, and other causes of damage. When folded according to instruction, the flag becomes a triangular shape with only the star-covered section visible.
– Disposal: Flags that have become damaged must be burned after being folded appropriately. Observers customarily pay their respects by saluting or reciting the pledge of allegiance. The remnants of the flag should be buried.
The author, Carl Buhler, is in the Air Force. Outside of his military career, he is a member of several professional organizations for members of the armed forces, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He has earned master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and the College of Naval Command and Staff. Carl Buhler has served more than 28 years in the United States Air Force.