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c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy.


*** That's pretty black and white. No problem.




Another reference:

A conference of "mainstream" Protestant denominations some decades ago concluded ...

Joe McMillan, 15 April 2003


*** Don't know who Joe is, but it's 100% opinion.


"Surely the flag code can be interpreted to include the Christian flag to have similar meaning as a pennant on the ship."


*** Also opinion. I disagree. The code is very clear, and leaves no room for this interpretation, so it remains an opinion. No different than comments shared here. I agree with some, and not with others. That's my opinion.


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Boy Scout Handbook, Twelfth Edition, page 75:


"Displayed from a staff in an auditorium or place of worship, the flag of the United States of America holds the position of honor to the right of a speaker as he or she faces the audience. Any other flags should be placed on the speaker's left."


Growing up, I spent most of my Sundays serving as an acolyte (altar boy) in an Episcopal church. We actually had 4 flags on display in the sanctuary, U.S., Canadian, Episcpal Church USA flag, and a diocesan flag. The national flags went on the right, U.S. in rightmost position) and church flags on the left. The Canadian flag was ostensibly there for the benefit of our areas large annual migration of snowbirds, but I think it was mainly used for symmetry.


Anyway, during large services where we had a bunch of acolytes, all four flags would process in. The flags were in the procession in two ranks of two, national flags on the right. When we got to the altar rail the two files would split and stand at the rail on either side of the rail until the clergy went through. Then the U.S. flag would cross in front of the church flag and the Canadian in front of the diocesan flag and then were posted at their normal locations.


For the recessional, the flags first cris-crossed to turn around and line up at the rail to wait for the candles to be extinguished and final prayers, and then cris-crossed again to walk down the aisle to go out.


As you might have guessed, this was a military community, most of the vestry were retired officers and they were very particular about flag courtesy, even if it meant some complicated choreography.






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Paragraph below referring to Military use, Navy. Flag code.


No it is referring to any time the flag is displayed. The US flag is displayed to the right of a speaker, left to the audience regardless of where the speaker is.

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My references, I guess, were from an older generation of US Flag Code. After reviewing the current Code those references no longer appear.


However, the US Flag Code is not law, it is only intended for guidance for civilians on how to display the flag, salute, and show respect. There is no civil or criminal penalty for doing it differently.


Some of the references in the Code are for informational purposes only. For example, the flying of the flag during naval services at sea is really a military protocol and NOT a civilian protocol. The reference is to indicate a difference when viewed by the civilian population. The same holds true for the military wearing the flag "backwards" on the right sleeve of the uniforms. The military can make up it's own rules and protocol and are NOT bound by the US Flag Code in any manner. They may be quite similar, but they don't have to be.


The military fold the flag into a triangle as part of their protocol. Civilians witnessing this have traditionally followed that protocol, BUT no where in the US Flag Code does it give instructions on how to fold the flag. Civilians can fold it any way they wish as long as it is in a respectful manner.


For those who wish to become informed of this variance in the US Flag Code over the years, it might be wise to go back to earlier generations of the Code. For example: in the original code, males "saluted" the flag by standing at attention, females, standing at attention, put their right hand over their heart. HOWEVER, if a man was wearing a hat, he took it off and while putting his right hand, with hat, over his heart and his hat was more in front of his shoulder. BUT, if it was raining, the man was to only lift his hat a few inches over his head, thus removing it, but retaining it's protection.


According to the original US Flag Code, the flag would never have appeared as printed on anything, it was displayed ONLY flown free. (funeral pall was the only exception) No patches, no bumper stickers, etc. It could not be used by any private company for business promotion. As a matter of fact there was a big flap when the first US postage stamp came out with the US flag on it. First of all it was not displayed flying free and secondly by canceling the stamp, one desecrated the flag.


Obviously attitudes over the years have changed as much as the US Flag Code. Yet, I can remember within my lifetime when wearing clothing made out of flags was accepted about as well as burning the flag. Cutting a hole in the flag and wearing it as a poncho was a common way to protest the War in Vietnam.


Again, my apologies for not keeping up with the latest and greatest revision of the US Flag Code.



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evmori states: "If the American flag is going to be displayed in a church sanctuary, it should be displayed properly. If it will not be displayed properly, then it should be removed."


Proper, I think that is the point. Some think it is not proper that a national flag take precedence over a flag with the Cross of Christ on it inside a church. The US Flag Code cannot not dictate rubrical protocol inside a place of worship. If a denomination or congregation wishes to display both the US and Christian flags and give the right position to the Christian flag that is their business and constitutional right.



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Thanks for double checking that for us Stosh, at least we're all pretty well agreed on what the flag code says on the subject. One minor quibble, the flag code is law, but there are no penalties for failure to follow it.


I can see why a church might want to give precedence to a symbol of faith over a symbol of nationalism in its worship space, and it is certainly their right to do so. But what about when the worship space is being used for other than a worship service? I've been to about half a dozen ECOH's in the past 5 years, and all of them were held in churches. Not in the fellowship hall or other space, but with the presentation made in the sanctuary and the audience seated in the nave.


In that instance, if the usual practice of the church was to display the church flag to the minister's right, U.S. flag to the left would you:

a. leave things as they are

b. move the national flag to the place of honor and put the church flag on the left, restoring them to their original position after the ceremony

c. put the church flag away for the duration of the ceremony and put the U.S. flag on the right.

or d. something else?





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Dances, I tried to post a similar question last nightm but my computer suddenly got hardheaded! :)


So, If I am not part of the church, not participating in a religios based or themed activity, and happen to be in the sanctuary ( for whatever reason) ...would I be obliged to put the curch flag in a position of more prominace over the US flag. Or likewise, I could be there for a religious reason, and in that circumstance, feel that religion and duty to zGod is not bound by constraints of Nationalilty or geography.


Personally, it has never been an issue to me. If a chucrh wants their flag to be prominant, I'm cool with it, Vice versa too. If the US Flag is prominant, I'm okay with that too.


I guess I am not disrespected by other folks doing things their own way. I only fel disrespected when they make it clear thei plan was to purposely disrespect me, But even then, I won't , because I will not let them have that power over me.


Anyways, great question!

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Some think it is not proper that a national flag take precedence over a flag with the Cross of Christ on it inside a church. The US Flag Code cannot not dictate rubrical protocol inside a place of worship. If a denomination or congregation wishes to display both the US and Christian flags and give the right position to the Christian flag that is their business and constitutional right.


Regardless of what people think, there if no "Flag of Christ" only denominational flags. And the Flag Code can and actually does dictate where the American flag should be placed regardless of the venue. And it is a law with penalties. And if you remember correctly, Jesus stated "render to Caesar what is Caesar's". In other words, one should follow the laws of man as well as God's law.

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That's a military standard, Woapalanne. The section of US Code that permits a flag to be worn by "patriotic organizations", 36 USC 176j, doesn't specify which way the flag should face. So BSA (and, I believe, some other civilian organizations) applied the rule from 175i-- that the union should be to the flags right/observers left.


The military is entitled (by 178, at the direction of the Commander in Chief) to establish variances from 36 USC. The US Army does this in Army Regulation 670-1, and I assume the other services have similar regulations. But those do not apply to civilians.


Essentially, the BSA flag direction is not wrong for a civilian, but the "blue forward" flag might also be correct.


I cut and paste most of this from a discussion I had with a well-meaning parent in our Pack. I offered him the opportunity to discuss the difference with our Cubs and help with the color guard and everyone went away happy.


(Edit: Pardon my citations. I'm no lawyer, but I did want to address this veteran parent's issue with authority.)(This message has been edited by silasm)

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I'm thinking upright might mean vertical, like on a wall with the grommets on the top. But even then the union should be on the flag's right, viewer's left. The exception to this would be when displayed over a street where the union is to the north or east depending on which way the street runs. This rule is used because the flag is viewed from both directions.


If the flag is displayed in a window, the person placing the flag should consider the direction the flag is facing. Is it "facing out the window" then the flag when viewed from the room have the union on the right. If it is "facing into the room", then it should not be used as window dressing and displayed properly on an open wall.


Then there's all the people out there who feel it proper to fly the flags on mounts on car windows. Proper flag etiquette says that the flag should be displayed on the right front corner of the vehicle or on center hood, not from any window mounts.


So, when all the dust settles, one might wish to consider: if someone wishes to show their patriotism by displaying the flag and hasn't a clue on how to do it properly, display it in a way that at least demonstrates that patriotism and they will at least be close!


I drove by a house that had their flag hanging from the eaves of their front porch, vertically. :) The union was to the right, in other words, backwards according to the US Flag Code. I stopped by, rang their doorbell and explained it to them. Then the two of us switched it around and they thanked me for getting them straight on it because they heard the blue had to be to the right and they only knew that part and not the part where it says to the flag's right. To this day the flag still flies there and it's always been correct.


The "upright" part is really kinda no other way, because it is totally inappropriate to display the flag horizontally. These people who find it a good idea to drag a huge flag out over a football field are totally in non-compliance to the US Flag code and they might as well lay it on the ground if they're going to be doing that.


If the flag is going to be displayed at my house, it's on a pole flying free. After all, it's a symbol of freedom, why not let it symbolize it's meaning by flying free.


Stosh(This message has been edited by jblake47)

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