DEAR ABBY: Since Wednesday, June 14, is Flag Day, your readers might appreciate a reminder about how to correctly display "Old Glory." The U.S. Flag Code, adopted in 1923, prescribes the following rules for proper handling of the flag:
-- Always display the flag with the blue union field up; never display the flag upside down, except as a distress signal.
-- Always hold the flag carefully; never let it touch anything beneath it: the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.
-- Always carry the flag aloft and free; never carry it flat or horizontally.
-- Always keep the flag clean and safe; never let it become torn, soiled or damaged.
-- Always dispose of a flag properly; it should be destroyed by burning it in a dignified manner.
-- Always treat the flag with respect; never embroider it on household items or pieces of clothing.
Readers who would like a copy of our brochure, "Our Flag: How to Honor and Display It," need only request it and send 30 cents plus a long (business-size), stamped, self-addressed envelope to National Flag Foundation, Flag Plaza, Dept. A., Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3630. Or they can review it on our Web site: www.AmericanFlags.org. -- DAVID L. WHITE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
DEAR DAVID: Thank you for sharing the rules for displaying the U.S. flag. Readers who may be unable to dispose of the flag in the prescribed manner should contact their nearest American Legion or VFW post. Most of them have an annual ceremony in which old and worn flags are properly destroyed.
DEAR ABBY: June 14, 1907, was designated Flag Day by the Grand Lodge (National) of the BPOE Elks. In 1911, the Grand Lodge made this a mandatory observance for all Elks.
The Elks prompted President Woodrow Wilson to recognize our observance. However, it was not until 1949 that it was made a national day of observance -- by another Elk, President Harry S. Truman.
There will be a local Elks' flag ceremony in most communities in the U.S.A. We welcome the opportunity to assist parents, teachers and others in teaching the history of our flag and promoting love and respect for it. This assistance is available by calling the local Elks lodge. -- ROY E. ADAMS, CAHABA VALLEY LODGE 1738, PELHAM, ALA.
DEAR ROY: Thank you for advising me and my readers that the Elks offer this community service. Although most of us learn the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag in our schools, we don't always remember to honor the symbol of our country on Flag Day. I'm sure that the program you offer will inspire many patriotic citizens.
P.S. My father was an Elk, and he told me that "B.P.O.E." stands for "Best People On Earth!"