Saturday, January 09, 2010

Flag etiquette bleg

First of all - I am trying real hard not to be one of those Flag Drones that want to find personal offense at any possible slight - innocent or otherwise. I also am not one of those black helicopter new world order world government types. Full stop.

However - when it comes to the US Flag - I do expect exceptional conduct and action by the US military - and take great exception when it comes to respecting out flag relative to other nations - and unquestionably am touchy when it comes to international organizations non-governmental organizations.

Let everyone else screw it up - but the US military should set the example.

Now that we have the apologia out of the way, I want you to review a few things about
US Flag etiquette:
When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.
Each on own pole. Same height. Same size. Check.
When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.
No one above but God. Check.

Now, read this caption with the
below photograph.
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 5, 2010) The color detail consisting of Personnel Specialist Seaman Adam Dickey, left, from Hot Springs, Ark., Personnel Specialist Seaman Steven Hill, from Hot Springs, Ark., Personnel Specialist Andrew Salina, from Heyburn, Idaho, and Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Jonathan Kress, from Loudon, Tenn., raise the flags for morning colors at Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
I am putting in the big picture so you can look at the detail with me and tell me where I am wrong. Byron, get your Son-in Law in on this. I need The Chief's opinion.

OK, here is what I see:
  • USA Flag is to our left. Japan's flag is to our right.
  • USA and Japan's flags are the same size.
  • USA and Japan's flags are going up their respective port and starboard yardarms.
  • The UN flag is larger than both the USA and the Japanese flag.
  • The UN flag is going up the taller flag placement on the main flagpole/mast.
That ain't kosher .... or is it?

I know of no exception that would allow the UN flag to be above the USA flag on a USA base. That is why this is a bleg and not a rant - I just have a cognitive block believing that FDNF at Yokosuka would do this unless there was chapter and verse that allowed it.

Here is what I hope is going on - and this is what I am inclined to believe. It is windy, and that explains the poor line discipline. The USA flag is going up first, check, and is on its way to the mainpole followed by the Japanese flag going starboard and the UN port; the lines are just mixed up and hard to track from this picture. The photographer is using a wide-angle lens, and because of the upward angle and the closer position of the UN flag - it just looks larger.

That was the story I told myself - but based on some emails I received, a lot of you don't see the same thing.

Unimportant topic? Based on the goofy stuff I see people doing with the Flag and flags - no - any excuse to review the rules.

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