POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - With Independence Day around the corner, many people are busting out Old Glory to hang from their front door.
But, sometimes, we forget about the U.S. Flag Code, or the rules for handling and respecting the American Flag.
“One thing I really love about Southeast Idaho is people here are very patriotic,” said Staff Sergeant Robert McGill, who is the area coordinator for Idaho Army National Guard's Honor Guard in the east region.
The Honor Guard provides funeral honors for fallen soldiers and veterans.
One of the most common ways McGill sees people breaking the Flag Code is when they hang it backwards in their window.
“The proper way to display a flag when it is displayed in a window, if you are on the outside looking in, the union, or the blue part with the stars, needs to be on your left side,” McGill said.
There's a lot of rules in the Flag Code, which makes it hard to remember all of them. You can brush up on the Flag Code here.
Some other common mistakes are: leaving the flag up at night without lighting it properly, draping it over cars or boats, and folding or storing it incorrectly.
The Flag Code also says the flag "should never be used as wearing apparel," but often on July 4, we see people wearing clothes that embody the American Flag.
“In my opinion, as long as it’s not actually made from flag material, it’s the wearer’s discretion. But it’s a very grey area when it comes to the flag code,” McGill said.
McGill said that while he sometimes sees people displaying the flag wrong, he's still happy to see it waving.
“I love the 4th of July. Anytime our community gets together and likes to display the living symbol of our country, it makes me very very happy and very very proud,” McGill said.
If you have an old flag that needs to be disposed of, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 735 in Pocatello can properly burn and bury the flag, according to code.