Wave the Red, White & Blue

Give the American flag its proper due.
Old glory: Our nation’s flag affords respect, whether flying high or retiring from service.

With the spirit of the Fourth of July,  many will proudly wave our nation’s flag. Commander Earl Buchan, of the Osseo/Maple Grove American Legion, led the Legion’s color guard for almost 20 years and is quite familiar with the unified standard of how to properly handle the American flag.

If displaying a flag at home, “You can keep it up all night long if you have a light on it,” Buchan says. “Otherwise, it should be taken down in the evening.” While lowering or removing a flag from its post, it’s important to remember that it should never touch the ground.

And what about retiring a flag? You have to make your own decision on when it’s time—if tears appear and the flag begins looking worn.  The American Legion offers a convenient place to bring flags ready for retirement. Buchan says “truckloads of ’em” come in to the Osseo station each year, and he assists during retirement ceremonies to properly fold and incinerate the flags.

The Osseo/Maple Grove Legion has lead the annual Osseo parade “for years and years” and the Maple Grove parade for around 20 years, according to Buchan. The Legion’s color guard consists of all legion members; American, prisoner of war, Legion, Navy, Marine and Army flags; and a rifle squad.  

For more information, visit americanlegionflags.com and legionpost172.org.