Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Flag Etiquette: Step by Step

P6130146_Flag Triangle_Day

One of the few rules I learned from my days in boy scouts was to respect our flag. As a result since I have moved here to Roosevelt Island I have winced almost every day I pass the flags flown at the Main Street traffic triangle and at Firefighter's Field. I am not a flag waiving lunatic but seeing those flags as tattered at their edges as they are is just wrong.

What has also bugged me is seeing these two flags flown 24 hours a day in every kind of foul weather. I can deal with the bad weather as I don't really expect to see RIOC or the PSD raising and lowering the flags daily but it has always been my understanding that under the US Flag Code (yes it's an actual law 1, 2) that flags flown at night must be lit via a spotlight or other means.

P6130151_Flag Triangle_Night_v2

I finally got to a point where I raised each of these issues to Stephen Shane, RIOC President, who has assured me that each flag will be examined (and I inferred replaced by his emails) and that lighting will be investigated and addressed. Lighting for the Main Street traffic triangle will be worked out once the traffic and pedestrian reconfiguration, currently under way, at that location is completed.



  1. Note to myself: don't ever let my boys join the Boy Scouts. It's a flag. A piece of cloth. Unbelievable. I know, I will get quite some flak for my opinion now.

  2. No flak from me. I actually agree with the sentiment to some degree as I also don't believe it should be against the law to burn the flag as I believe that act should be respected as free speech.

    But I do believe if the decision is made to fly a flag that then the party responsible for it should respect it and follow the laws set out regarding doing so especially if the entity posting the flag is a government entity.