United States Flag-Day Etiquette.

Flag of the United States of America

Image via Wikipedia

 

With today’s date being June 14, I thought it would be proper to remind everyone the proper etiquette for the United States Flag.  I found all this information at USFlag.org. Some of the information you may know and some you may not.  However it is all very interesting, especially if you are like me and fly the Stars and Stripes at home.

STANDARDS of RESPECT

The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speaker’s desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

Displaying the Flag Outdoors

When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

Raising and Lowering the Flag

The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag Indoors

When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.

The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.

When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.

When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag’s own right, and to the observer’s left.

Parading and Saluting the Flag

When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The Salute

To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem

The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

The Flag in Mourning

To place the flag at half-staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half-staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half-staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.

When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.

USA Flag image

So fly it high and fly it proud!

Safe travels and Happy RVing…

RVing – A Good Vacation Option For Your Family!

I came across this article while reading some RV related blogs.  I thought it was a great reason to go RVing!  This article goes along with one of my previous blogs as to how affordable RVing/camping can be.  Even in the economical times we are experiencing.  Hitting the road towing a travel trailer, fifth wheel, pop up or even behind the steering wheel of a motorized coach, you make memories that are going to last a lifetime.  So take a few moments to read this article and determine if RVing is one of America’s greatest things to do.

Have you ever been camping in an RV? Well, according to the RVIA (Recreation Vehicle Industry Association) almost one in 12 vehicle owning households in the U.S. can answer yes to this question. If you answered No to this question, then stick around, this article is meant for you.

If you are like most people you lead a very hectic life. You feel like you are working harder now than you ever have before. The end result is you have less leisure time to spend with your family. So, once it is time for your vacation you are ready to get away from it all, relax and spend quality time with your family.

Going camping in an RV is an option you should consider for your next vacation. The reason is simple, it will allow you to slow down and unwind. And who does not want to do that? When you go RVing you don’t have to worry about missing a flight, losing your luggage or renting a car. You do not even have to worry about unpacking your luggage, as everything you need is already in the camper .

Our extended family has been enjoying the RV lifestyle for 34 years in some form or another. From one night stays to extended weekend stays. Over the years our extended family has visited many campgrounds, state and national parks. Don’t get me wrong: we have gone on vacations where we flew to our destinations, because of time constraints. We have even flown over the Grand Canyon a couple of times on commercial airliners. The pilots were always kind enough to point out that if we looked out the windows, we could see the Grand Canyon, and I have to admit it looked pretty good from 35,000 feet. But it wasn’t until we actually drove an RV into the Grand Canyon National Park and looked over the rim and saw it from ground level, that we realized its true grandeur.

An RV is a vacation home on wheels with one exception. One day you are in the mountains; the next day you could be at the beach. Try that with a vacation home. RVs come in all shapes and sizes. If you are looking for accommodations similar to those found in some of the best hotels in the world you may want to look at a Class A Motor Home or Fifth Wheel Trailer. If you want a more rustic experience, you might want to look at a Tent Trailer.

Regardless of which type of RV you choose, you may find that vacationing in an RV provides more time to relax and bond with your family. While RVing, getting to your destination is half the fun. You will be surprised by some of the interesting places you run into along the way. Seeing all of this at ground level makes a difference too.

I hope this article has piqued your interest in taking your family on a RV Vacation Adventure. I am sure that you have many questions. The internet is a great resource to get those questions answered. There are websites that have information on RVing, the Types of RVs available to both rent and buy and tips on what to see and do along the way.  I can honestly say that my worst RV vacation was still better than my best traditional vacation. The memories of our RV camping trips will last us a lifetime.

Your next family vacation may be the ideal time to go RVing and create some excellent family memories of your own.

If you don’t know what RV type is right for your family, please contact your locale Central PA RV Dealer. For over 34 years we have been helping families have fun.

Great Smoky Visitors Can Now Check Road Conditions Digitally

I recently discovered this article in a Trailer Life magazine.  I thought I would share it with my readers as well.  This is just another way technology has found a home in mainstream society and into the RVing lifestyle.  If anyone out there has any other ways technology has helped the RVing lifestyle, please post it.

Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park may now sign up to receive status updates about the park’s most frequently used roads via text message or on Twitter. In the past, travelers had to place phone calls to the Park to determine the status of the roads, which can change frequently with changing weather conditions.

The Park’s recorded information line receives more than 1,000 calls per day during the severe winter weather from people inquiring about road conditions. When all of the incoming lines are in-use, the calls rollover to the park’s Communications Center staff, often resulting in more than 600 calls to be answered, hampering the staff from responding to calls requesting park information and emergency assistance.

Those who wish to be notified of the status of the Park’s four most popular roads — Newfound Gap (U.S. 441), Little River Road, Laurel Creek Road, and Cades Cove Loop Road — can opt to get text messages to their cell phones by texting follow smokiesroadsnps to 40404. To stop receiving the text message alerts, text stop smokiesroadsnps to the same number. Standard text rates will apply.

The public can get that same information via the Internet by going to: twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps to read recent road notification postings. This is a Twitter website maintained by the park, but anybody can access it at any time, without having to establish a Twitter account.

Anyone having a Twitter account can go an extra step and choose to have updates set to them by going to the site listed above and clicking the “follow” button to see the updates on their own account page and receive the notifications in the manner they specify. In addition to notifications of winter road conditions, park officials plan to notify travelers throughout the year of road openings and closings due to rock slides, fallen trees, and accidents. Anytime the status of one of the listed roads changes, a message will be sent.

As the National Park Service prepares for its 2016 centennial celebration, officials are increasingly utilizing technology to connect the American people to their national parks.

For more information about Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and for a link to the Twitter site, go to www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm. Information on all of the roads in the Park as well as other Park information may be obtained by calling the park’s information line at (865) 436-1200 and following the prompts.

FREE Entrance Days in 2011 at our National Parks.

US National Park Logo/BadgeThe National Park Service has just announced the fee-free days at more than 100 national parks in 2011. Mark your calendars and take your family on a fun-filled road-trip through one of our Nation’s National Parks.  Accidentally I took advantage of one of these days last year, I was able to enjoy the Skyline Drive for free from the seat of my Harley Davidson.  I passed a lot of RV’s on that trip as well.

National Park Waterfall Pic

Yosemite Falls is visible from numerous places around Yosemite Valley, especially around Yosemite Village and Yosemite Lodge.

So be sure to plan your trips accordingly.

Here are the dates for the fee-free days in 2011:

  • January 15th to 17th (Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday weekend)
  • April 16th to 24th (National Park Week)
  • June 21st (First day of summer)
  • September 24th (Public Lands Day)
  • November 11th to 13th (Veterans Day weekend)

Did you know: There are 394 National Parks and many of them don’t charge an entrance fee!

Click Here to visit the National Park Service’s website.
Click Here to view the Fee-Free Days Announcement.

Betty White becomes an Official Forest Ranger.

Betty White with Smokey the Bear

Betty White with Smokey Bear in background as she's made honorary forest ranger(AP)

Actress Betty White, 88, was made an honorary member of the Forest Service on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 in a special ceremony held at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Forest Service presented her with a badge, a ranger’s Stetson hat and a Smokey Bear toy.

Betty White loves animals and is also dedicated to protecting the forest. White said in an interview with CBS News, the “Wilderness is harder and harder to find these days on this beautiful planet, and we’re abusing our planet to the point of almost no return. In my heart I’ve been a forest ranger all my life, but now I’m official.”


Betty White: aka Forest Ranger
(CBS.com News Report)

U.S. Forest Ranger Betty White (ABC.com News Report)

Another Record Season for Yellowstone National Park

I was reading through some online RVing articles and stumbled across this one about our great national treasure, Yellowstone National Park. Three years have passed since I visited this great park. That trip was the quintessential RV experience. Two weeks long and done in a 31′ Class C motor home from the inventory at your Central PA RV Dealership. So as winter gets closer and the forecast starts to get colder, Yellowstone National Park has probably started to gradually close down. So I thought I would post a small article detailing a banner year for the park.
Scenery at Midway Geyser Basin
‘Yellowstone National Park had 3.4 million visitors so far this year, securing another record-breaking year for attendance. This year’s record has already beat last year’s by 100,00. The record in 2009 was 3.3 million visitors. The last remaining facilities that are open will close on Sunday, November 7th, giving the park a little more time to add to their record.’

Congratulations to Yellowstone National Park for another great year of attendance! As the number of RV owners increase, I hope to see the attendance numbers at our great national parks continue to increase.