Flag SOP rough draft review?

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by GCLARK, Apr 18, 2010.


    GCLARK New Member

    I am in the process of writing an SOP (standard operating procedure) for my fire department, if I post it here would anyone, knowledgeable of such thing, be willing to review and critique for me?
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Howdy, GCLARK ! :D

    I would assume the there are a few who would be more than willing to help "advise" on your project, but I can't speak for them. I'll do what I can, but I have to warn you, I am NOT the most experienced in this particular field!

    In addition to the "Flag Code" there are other "Flag Etiquette" resources available, such as the U.S. Army & Navy regulations, Veterans' Organizations, etc. some of them are pretty "intricate", if you know what I mean! :eek:

    While I might be guessing here, I'd say you're probably working up a fairly "simplified" set of common sense "do's and don'ts" that will be somewhat easier to follow than trying to remember "off the top of your head" what is supposed to be done in certain situations.

    Good Luck with your project! I look forward to reading the first draft!

    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA

    GCLARK New Member

    Here is the first draft, and let me give you a little background. We have one flag pole, that currently displays and all-weather flag, 24 hours a day that is properly lit. I believe you responded to me question yesterday regarding a half-staff issue and the flag coming in contact with the building. (BTW, I will try and post a picture the next time the flag is at half-staff, I didn't want to lower it just for a picture) The SOP, unfortunately, kind of needs to be one page. So with that being said, I tried to put all the important details, and use broad language so as to respect the Flag and it's Code. Please let me know what I can change, or needs to be put in.

    Purpose: To state how and when the United States Flag shale be presented to give respect to both the flag itself, days of mourning and observance, and the men and women the flag represents. The flag is to be treated with respect and all aspects of the flag handling and displaying shale comply with the Flag Code.

    “The Flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing” USC Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8j. The United States Flag Code.

    • The flag here at Big Sky Fire Department shale be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

    • If proper illumination is not present, or there is inclement weather (if not an all-weather flag), the flag shall be hoisted briskly at sunrise, and lowered ceremoniously at sunset.

    • If the flag is to be taken down, it is to be lowered ceremoniously, folded properly, and stored carefully, and ready to be raised briskly at the next appropriate time.

    • The Flag is to be displayed at half-staff on the following days:
    -Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15th, sunrise to sunset.
    -Memorial Day, last Monday in May, sunrise to noon.
    -Patriots Day, September 11th, sunrise to sunset.
    -Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th, sunrise to sunset.
    -When proclaimed be the President of the United States, or by the
    Governor of Montana.

    • When the flag is to be displayed at half-staff, the flag shall be raised to full-staff, and then lowered, to a position where it does not rest, or come in contact of the building.

    • When flags of State, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, The U.S. Flag shall always be at the peak. No other flag or pennant shall be placed above the United States Flag.
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, GClark !

    Well, it looks like you're off to a good start ! :D

    A few things to note :

    1. the Flag is supposed to be flown at half-staff on "Peace Officers' Memorial Day" (May 15th) EXCEPT when it coincides with "Armed Forces Day" (3rd Saturday in May), then it is to be flown at full staff. Such is the case THIS year, May 15th is the third Saturday in the month of May.

    2. ALWAYS use some kind of spell-checking software to scan your drafts for errors BEFORE you print or publish them. THEN read them yourselve to ensure that the right forms of each word are being used. EXAMPLE: the three spellings , forms, and meanings of the word "TO", "TOO", and "TWO". The spellings may be "correct" but the form of the word might be "incorrect".

    3. You might include an entry regarding keeping the Flag clean and in good repair.

    4. This is NOT mandatory! You might consider "prioritizing" the entries included in your "MT FD Flag SOP", from the most important first to the least important. Just be aware that there are those who might consider EVERYTHING to be equally important! (That's why it shouldn't be mandatory to do it!)

    5. While you might mention, or reference to, the U.S. Flag code in order to emphasize a point, you might consider having a printed copy on hand to back up your "MT FD Flag SOP" (just in case.....).

    6. I had thought of this before but I don't remember if I mentioned it. When you are going to "half-staff" the Flag, you might consider using a Flag that is the next size smaller. You'll be able to lower it a bit further than your regular Flag.

    I'll check back later.....


    GCLARK New Member

    Thanks for the input, reviewing my grammar lessons again online, I guess I am not clear where I used too, to, or two improperly. Again, thank you for your help.

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