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Our view: Treat Old Glory with respect, on Flag Day and all days

Didn't realize it was a holiday today? Or didn't remember? Don't feel too bad. Few remember Flag Day, and Old Glory doesn't seem to mind. The best-recognized symbol of our nation and of the freedoms we enjoy and too often take for granted just ke...

Didn't realize it was a holiday today? Or didn't remember? Don't feel too bad. Few remember Flag Day, and Old Glory doesn't seem to mind. The best-recognized symbol of our nation and of the freedoms we enjoy and too often take for granted just keeps waving proudly.

How proudly is up to each and every one of us. There are rules when it comes to displaying and treating the flag, rules that demand to be respectfully followed, rules about hoisting briskly and lowering ceremoniously the flag, about not displaying during inclement weather or at night, about keeping it on the marching right when in procession, about placing the union of the flag at the peak when displaying from a staff, about hoisting the flag to the peak for an instant before lowering it when displaying it at half staff, about not wearing the flag as clothing and more.

These rules -- and many others -- are detailed in a brochure produced and being distributed this year by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. The "Guide to Flag Etiquette" can be requested at sos.state.mn.us, by e-mailing secretary.

state@state.mn.us or at the State Office Building in St. Paul.

Or you can stop by the News Tribune at 424 W. First St. A pile of brochures is in the lobby and available for free for as long as they last.

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Properly displaying the American flag is at the heart of Flag Day, a celebration with its roots in 1885 in nearby Fredonia, Wis. A schoolteacher there first carried the banner to forever recognize the anniversary of the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes as "Flag Birthday." In 1916, a presidential proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson created the holiday, commemorating the date on which the Second Continental Congress voted to adopt the flag of the United States in 1777. For more than a century, schoolchildren and others have planned and held ceremonies to honor the flag and all it represents.

Participating nowadays is as simple as a made-in-the-U.S.A. flag, whether worn on a lapel, held by hand or flown from a porch -- as long as the participating is carried out with respect and is done properly and according to our nation's rules.

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