By Ernie Over

WyoToday

Phew!  This past week was a busy one all over the county with parades, rodeos, picnics, a mountain man rendezvous and lots of patriotic music and flag waving. And, of course, fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks.

Now that the 4th is behind us, it’s time to look forward to the next big series of events coming up on the calendar. That would be Riverton’s Happy Days and Happy Nights beginning Thursday and South Pass City State Historic Site’s Gold Rush Days that runs Saturday and Sunday. Also on Sunday is Wyoming Thunder with the Veterans Legacy Motorcycle Club’s annual ride in Fremont County with a parade through town to Fort Washakie and the Native American Veteran’s Path of Honor Memorial for an observance and memorial service.

Monday, Hot Notes and Cool Nights community band concerts return, on the 11th in Riverton with special guest artist Lights Along the Shore.

A complete listing of county events can be found at Wyotoday.com on the navigation bar by clicking “Events.”

All the merriment and patriotism this month reminds me of one of my pet peeves. Bear with me if you will.

In my travels around the county, and state for that matter, it annoys me to see a damaged flag with tears and such still flying. Some flags have been posted for so long they have disintegrated to the point where only a portion of the flag still exists. Flags in those conditions should be retired and properly disposed of.

At Veteran’s Hall in Riverton and at the Courthouse in Lander, there are receptables to place damaged or soiled flags. It’s a matter of respect.

I’m wondering how many people know that there is a Federal Flag Code? There is. It’s Public Law 94-344. There are no penalties for misuse of the flag, but it should be common sense that the symbol of our United States should be treated with respect.

The U.S. Veterans Administration, on its website, shows how the flag should be displayed in a variety of ways. It also has a listing of things not to do with the flag:

“Out of respect for the U.S. flag, never: dip it for any person or thing, even though state flags, regimental colors and other flags may be dipped as a mark of honor,

• Display it with the union down, except as a signal of distress,

• Let the flag touch anything beneath it: ground, floor, water, merchandise. carry it horizontally, but always alof,.

• Fasten or display it in a way that will permit it to be damaged or soiled,

• Place anything on the flag, including letters, insignia, or designs of any kind.

•  Use it for holding anything,

• Use it as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should not be used on a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be attached to the uniform of patriotic organizations, military personnel, police officers and firefighters, and

• Use the flag for advertising or promotion purposes or print it on paper napkins, boxes, or anything else intended for temporary use and discard.

I think this final guideline is the one most abused, in terms of using Old Glory for commercialism.

The  Flag is a symbol of freedom and liberty to which Americans Pledge Their Allegiance.

Let’s respect it.  

Ernie Over is an employee owner and the news director of the five-station Wind River Radio Network in Fremont and Hot Springs counties, the editor of Wyotoday.com’s local news Internet site, and a staff member of The Ranger, Lander Journal and Wind River News

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