ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Flag Day is almost here. At Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and around the world, this quiet military holiday is all about celebrating “Old Glory.”
“You want to handle the flag respectfully every time it is touched,” said Staff Sgt. Shykana Copeland, Robins Honor Guard Flight.
Copeland’s daily job is centered around this patriotic symbol. She trains Airmen on how to present the flag for all occasions.
The Robins Honor Guard participates in a variety of events like change of command ceremonies, parades and sporting events.
“You want to make sure the American flag does not touch the ground and is always in good condition,” said Copeland.
The American Flag was first carried into battle Sept. 11, 1777, during the Battle of Brandywine. There are many claims to the first official observance of Flag Day, but it is believed that Flag Day was first celebrated 100 years later. Many schools recognized Flag Day and held patriotic ceremonies to recognize the Stars and Stripes.
Flag Day is celebrated by both military and civilians, alike. Anyone who wants to show pride in their country can acknowledge the day. However, taking the time to review flag etiquette may be a good idea, according to Copeland.
She said one bad habit of some well-meaning patriots is wearing the flag as clothing.
“I know they are coming from a place of passion and prideful display, but still, no,” said Copeland. “Once upon a time I did not know, and it is always good to know the right way to do things.”
Notes from the U.S. Flag Code:
- Never use the flag as decoration: for example, covering the front of a desk.
- Display the flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open.
- Illuminate the flag if displayed at night.
- Do not fly the flag upside down unless there is an emergency.
- Do not fasten it or tie it back. Always allow it to fall free.