However, this is so. But what people should realize is that the flag remains as important as it always is, despite its lower price. As a national symbol, the flag has a special significance which requires a traditional etiquette. This isn’t something that everyone may be familiar with but the fact that the flag was cheap does not detract from this requirement.
A national flag should never be handled like other pieces of cloth, even though it is one. The rules for its usage apply to its handling and storage as well, and should be followed without exception. The motivation for these rules is national pride, so those who handle the flag should realize the significance of what they are handling and obey the rules as a matter of course.
They should not, at any time, allow the flag to touch the ground. This is strictly prohibited. When raising the flag onto its pole, or lowering it to store at night, or when carrying it, it must not have any contact with the ground. This is a mark of disrespect to the country and is extremely reckless conduct by those who are guilty of it.
Storing the flag is another important regulated activity. A flag is not folded up like other fabric items. It is not a sheet or a towel. A flag should not display creasing when it’s flown, so folding it is different to other linen. Fold it lightly into a narrow rectangle, and then roll it carefully into a roll.
The rules also determine how the flag is flown and at what times. There is a theory that the national flag is not permitted to fly at night. This is not completely correct. It may be flown at night, but only if there is proper lighting to show it to people.
Sometimes, it needs to be flown along with another flag. However, at such times two posts must be used, one for each flag. If only a single post is available, then the national flag is always hoisted first, above the other flag, never in the reverse order. It always takes the top position on the post.
These are not merely rules of thumb. They are officially legislated in the American Flag Code but their violation does not constitute a crime. People are permitted their freedom of expression in their use of the flag. However, they should also consider that the national emblem is a matter of importance to the nation and that its misuse, for whatever reason, can potentially damage the image of the country. Those who use the flag should study the Code to understand how to do so and what the principles are behind its provisions.