Hunter Davis, chaplain and service officer of Ketchikan’s American Legion, delivered a special presentation on the topic of flag etiquette.
He started by demonstrating a few key rules for flag disposal. Davis stated that if a flag was frayed and tattered it could be given to the American Legion for proper disposal — to be burned on Flag Day in a proper ceremony.
One of the flags showcased was the Betsy Ross flag, which is generally regarded as the first official flag of the U.S.
Davis went on the explain the origin of the Betsy Ross flag, stating that it was made from stripped pieces of an old dress, under the supervision of George Washington and his military committee. The flag had 13 stars organized in a circle to represent the union and strength of the 13 original colonies.
Davis went on to show and explain the origin of the Bennington flag. Then, he explained the significance of the number 76 and noted that it was the first U.S. flag that used six-pointed stars instead of five.
He continued by explaining how to display a flag properly. The flag is supposed to always be displayed on its right.
When displayed on a wall, whether horizontally or vertically, the blue field is supposed to be on the upper left.
Davis explained that flags should be taken down during the night unless there was enough light for the flag to be clearly recognized.
Also, he explained how damaged flags should be treated. He explained that if a flag was too damaged, it should be handed over to be burned in the appropriate ceremony. However, flags can be washed or repaired if necessary.
He also debunked the myth that flags that have touched the ground need to be destroyed. Instead, they should be lifted and cleaned if required.