13 Star Flag Etiquette

Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by rfhall50, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. rfhall50

    rfhall50 New Member

    We are a retirement community for retired military officers and their spouses in Williamsburg, VA. Part of our logo is the 13 star flag just over the community name. The logo can be seen here:

    Patriots Colony at Williamsburg

    The issue is that we use the logo on company vehicles, shirts, jackets, literature, etc. and even on custom 5' x 8' door mats. Is this contratry to flag etiquette ? Do all the same rules apply for the 13 star flag as they do for the current 50 star flag ?

    We have used the 13 star flag in all these ways for approximately 12+ years, now someone is starting to question it. Would appreciate y'alls input.

  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Thanks for your question. :)

    In my opinion, the US Flag Code rules on proper etiquette and the respectful treament of the flag applies to both current and obsolete flags, including those with 13 stars.

    The US Flag of 13 stars was officially used by the US Navy as the ensign for boats and other small craft until WWI, so they definately believed a 13 star flag was an American flag.To see two of these Boat Flags dated 1882 and 1898 (among other 13-star flags) please see my Flickr page:
    13 Star Flags - a set on Flickr :cool:

    Regarding the uses you listed, I beleive current practice considers all of them acceptable except for the dorrmat.:( That should be redesigned to remove the flag. Elements of the flag's design, including an arc of 4 or 5 stars plus some red and white wavy stripes can be used to evoke the concept of the so-called Betsy Ross flag with 13 stars in a circle without risking violation of the flag code.

    However, when you come right down to it, the Flag Code is just suggested practice. You could use a burning flag as a doormat and the Supreme Court would support your right to do so as Free Speech. But let's not get into that argument here. In this forum we try to advocate what is best, not what you can get away with.

  3. rfhall50

    rfhall50 New Member

    Nick ...

    Thanks for your detailed reply. Everything you said certainly makes sense. I will be passing this along for Management and Resident Council consideration. Thanks again.

    Bob Hall
    Security Manager
    Patriots Colony at Williamsburg

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