Flying Another Country's Flag in USA

Discussion in 'Other Flags' started by EmailPoster, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. EmailPoster

    EmailPoster New Member

    We have some neighbors flying the flag of their country,...
     
  2. ungraspable

    ungraspable Guest

    Mimi-
    First of all, thank you for your concern. It is people like you that will keep America's pride in check. It is great that your neighbors want to show respect and pride for their country, however, equal respect should be shown to the American flag. If they wish to only fly their country’s flag, well then I suggest they return to their country. They must realize that they have made America their home, and therefore must submit to the country’s rules. It is fine if they do not want to show American pride, but they should not by all means show disrespect. Simply they either display both flags or no flag at all. If they do decide to display both flags, they should not fly on the same rod. Instead, both flags get their own rod, but must be approximately equal in size and flown at the same height. Flying one flag higher than the other is disrespectful to the other country, even if it is not our country. This is significant to show that America is at a time of peace with the other country. Please be sure to let neighbors realize that America is respectful of other countries, but citizens do have proper conduct to maintain.
    I hope you have a great day, and good luck with your neighbors!
    Ashley
     
  3. jproffitt10

    jproffitt10 Guest

    Mimi,

    While it is not likely that your neighbors will face any criminal or civil penalties for their patriotism in regards to whatever national flag they are displaying, it isn't right and they will likely suffer the obvious disdain at least one of their neighbors, though hopefully more. According to the U.S. Flag Code, "No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in position of superior prominence or honor to, or IN PLACE OF, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or an territory or possession thereof."
     
  4. LindaN

    LindaN Guest

    Communist flag

    I'm wondering what you think if the flag is communist IE Cuban. One is flying without the American flag on an appartment house in my town. The guy flying it is collecting just about every freebie we taxpayers have to contribute to, SSI, welfare, etc.

    LindaN
     
  5. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, everyone,

    I think that the previous posters on this thread are missing an important point. Flying the flag of another country does not necessarily mean that the flyer is expressing allegience to that country, or denying allegiance to the USA.

    A few years ago, one of my fellow vexillologists came up with what he called a "typology of flag behavior." Basically, it's a list of reasons for flying a flag -- or, more exactly, of the messages that flying a flag can convey. Here is a slightly edited version of the list, with examples of each one:

    WHAT DOES A FLAG MEAN?

    1. I am the property of, or responsible for, the entity that this flag represents. (Example: flag at the entrance to a national park.)

    2. I am subject to the laws of the entity that this flag represents. (Example: flag on a US merchant ship at sea or in a foreign port.)

    3. I am an official representative of the entity that this flag represents (Examples: flag on a US Navy warship or on a US government office.)

    4. I owe allegience to the entity that this flag represents. (Example: a citizen flying the US flag on his house.)

    5. I have an emotional or cultural attachment to the entity that this flag represents. (Example: a person of Polish ancestry flying the Polish flag on his house.)

    6. I wish to show my respect for the entity that this flag represents. (Example: flying the British flag to commemorate the Queen's birthday.)

    The point is that a national flag can mean any one of these things, depending on the circumstances. We shouldn't jump to the conclusion that a flag flying on a private citizen's home is always intended to be #4; it could also be a #5 or a #6. I'm sure that there are many cases in which a citizen would like to do both, say #4 and #5, but cannot because he/she doesn't have enough flagpoles!

    ungraspable: "If they wish to only fly their country’s flag, well then I suggest they return to their country. They must realize that they have made America their home, and therefore must submit to the country’s rules. It is fine if they do not want to show American pride, but they should not by all means show disrespect."

    jproffitt10: "While it is not likely that your neighbors will face any criminal or civil penalties for their patriotism in regards to whatever national flag they are displaying, it isn't right"

    There is no "rule" that says you have to fly the US flag, or that you're not supposed to fly another country's flag. As discussed above, flying another country's flag does not necessarily show disrespect, or express patriotism for another country. It could be an affirmation of a person's heritage, or a friendly recognition of another country's holiday.

    jproffitt10: "and they will likely suffer the obvious disdain at least one of their neighbors, though hopefully more.

    My neighbors are from Korea. On August 15th last year, I flew the Korean flag on the house to mark Korean Liberation Day. The neighbor lady smiled radiantly when she saw it, and thanked me profusely for honoring their holiday. If she felt "disdain," it sure wasn't "obvious!"

    jproffitt10: "According to the U.S. Flag Code, "No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in position of superior prominence or honor to, or IN PLACE OF, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or an territory or possession thereof.""

    This sentence was not originally part of the flag code. It was added in 1954, at the height of the McCarthy era, and its intent was to show disdain for the United Nations (which McCarthy hated). It was unnecessary, because it really didn't say anything that wasn't already in the code -- the code already said that the US flag should have precedence over other nations' flags. It was also very poorly written and full of ambiguities. For example: what does "equal" mean? If it means that you're not supposed to fly another nation's flag at the same level as the US flag, then it contradicts paragraph 7g of the code, as well as centuries of international custom. And what does "in place of" mean? Either you're flying the US flag, or you are not.

    LindaN: I'm wondering what you think if the flag is communist IE Cuban. One is flying without the American flag on an appartment house in my town.

    Linda has a point here, but it's tricky. Going back to my friend's typology, what exactly do we mean by "the entity that this flag represents?" Do we mean Cuba, a proud historic land with a vibrant culture, or do we mean the Communist dictatorship that has ruled that country since 1959? (The Cuban flag existed long before 1959.) I suspect that the person flying the flag in Linda's town is thinking of the former rather than the latter. This is a symbolic problem that is faced by many immigrant groups -- they want to affirm their heritage, but don't want to show support for an obnoxious regime. Here in Virginia, the Vietnamese community flies the old flag of the Republic of (South) Vietnam, and that flag has been officially recognized by the state government as a symbol of Vietnamese heritage.

    One of the finest things about the USA is that we and our ancestors came from all over the world, and that we're doing our best to build a society that accomodates all. There's nothing unpatriotic about remembering where we came from, or honoring the holidays of those who came from elsewhere. On the contrary; doing so makes us a stronger and better nation. Just ask my Korean neighbor.

    Regards,

    Peter Ansoff
     
  6. Newnewfie

    Newnewfie New Member

    I am a Canadian citizen and for the past 17 years have spent my winters in Florida (6 Months/year). The other day I displayed the Canadian flag alone on my Mobile home in honour of 2 fallen Canadian soldiers who died in Aphganistan. I have been told by the park manager that I must remove the flag or fly it with an American flag. In Canada where many US citizens reside or vacation, they display the US flag alone without any concern for the Canadian flag. I respect the flags of both countries and on special occasions, fly both.
     
  7. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, Newnewfie!

    As far as I know, there is no US federal restriction on flying foreign flags by themselves -- I do it all the time here at my house. (You'll always see the Canadian flag here on the first of July!) However, some state and local jurisdictions have funny laws, and it's possible that some may address such things. Also, the owners of your trailer park can basically make whatever rules they want to.

    If you think it's worth pursuing, you might want to ask your park manager what the basis for the rule is -- is it a law, a park regulation, just something that he/she made up on the spur of the moment?

    Hope all is well in Newfieland! I've never visited that part of the world, and I hope to one of these days.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  8. quicker

    quicker New Member

    Peter.

    I agree with the idea of a nation of many and tolerance but I also believe in a system of unity to protect just that. This idea of a national flag also protects all from the division that can be caused by larger or smaller numbers of different nationalities. The use of one flag as a primary flag is very helpful at bridging the differences that can be encountered. The lack of enforcement or unification of a language is bad enough and leaves many turning to the issue of the flag as a last stand for the unity and respect for a country always changing and expanding its diversity. So as much as it is not an enforceable rule it in my opinion Helps to not only fly your country of heritage but to also fly a American flag next to it.

    I am originally from Canada and in my country many Americans fly the American flag and most out of common respect also flew the Canadian flag next to it.

    Rule or not I would always suggest showing both your heritage and your American allegiance. This way you don’t have to worry about anyone misunderstanding your intentions.

    Quicker
     
  9. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hello, Quicker -- welcome!

    Rule or not I would always suggest showing both your heritage and your American allegiance. This way you don’t have to worry about anyone misunderstanding your intentions.

    This is a good point. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of being able to fly two flags on separate poles! The alternative of flying one above the other is (IMO), worse than not flying the US flag at all.

    An elegant solution, it seems to me, would be for national and cultural groups to create "heritage flags" that symbolize, in one flag, both their US allegience and their heritage. The case of the Vietnamese community that I mentioned in an earlier post here is the closest example that I know about -- they use the old yellow and red flag of the RVN as a symbol of Vietnamese culture, and it's officially recognized as such in many US communities (including here in my state of Virginia). One could imagine, for example, a Cuban-American flag that would symbolize the flyer's heritage without reference to the Cuban political regime.

    I frequently fly foreign flags here at the house for another reason -- to recognize the holidays of other nations. In these cases, it would be awkward to fly the US flag as well, because it's their holiday, not ours. The usage varies, of course. For example, US Memorial Day is also Canadian Remembrance Day, so I fly both flags. However, Canada Day is a uniquely Canadian holiday, so I fly the Canadian flag by itself.

    Peter A.
     
  10. Dear Newnewfi don't let it bother you , if after you explained why and the park still tells you to take it down find a park that understands and go there . Know also we have parks and neighbor hoods that out law the flying of an American flag . I fly my flag (USA) and respect others , especially visitors fags . If you have two poles you could fly both and thus diffuse potential problems . After all it would be a small price to pay to encourage the close relationship we have had since 1815 .
     
  11. REDefiant

    REDefiant New Member

    Mimi, have you approached your neighbors and asked them if they have converted to Christianity upon entering our country? That should always be your first step when welcoming foreign people to your community. Also, it is also common courtesy to show them how to order a pizza.
     
  12. Flaguser

    Flaguser New Member

    have you approached your neighbors and asked them if they have converted to Christianity upon entering our country? That should always be your first step when welcoming foreign people to your community. Also, it is also common courtesy to show them how to order a pizza.

    Absolutely right, but it must be a *pepperoni and anchovies* pizza! Anything else would be blasphemous and un-American.
     
  13. coasterville

    coasterville New Member

    Remember, one of the great things about the USA, is that we CAN fly the flags of other nations. Of course if you choose to do so it may influence what your neighbors or anyone else who passes by your house thinks about you.

    We just passed a prime example of this in St. Patricks Day, in my neighborhood it is not uncommon for people to fly the Irish flag on St. Patricks Day. Some people fly the Irish flag for the entire month, either in addition to or in place of their regular flag display, if they have one.

    I just went to Ireland this past September and decided to join in the celebration this year, of special note the Irish flag pictured below was purchased in Ireland:

    [​IMG]

    In my case I only did it for one day and flew it in place of my regular flag, but on a different pole that does not have an eagle on top.

    During Oktoberfest I may fly my Bavarian flag.

    In other words, I personally don't see anything wrong with flying whatever flag you want. It may help shape my opinion of you, but its fine by me.
     
  14. doingbadthings666

    doingbadthings666 New Member

    to be completely honest no one should ever fly another country's flag in america with not flying america's flag along with it. its majorly disrespectful. I understand that not every one has two flag poles well here's a way to solve that problem...fly the us flag above the other flag. you are in america and should show the pride and respect that being an american means. i do not tolerate people flying their country's flag by it self to the point i will remove it. I know im not alone on this. Please do that right thing and be american. be proud to be apart of a country that has so many nationalities working together. thats it for now.
     
  15. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hi, dbt,

    no one should ever fly another country's flag in america with not flying america's flag along with it. its majorly disrespectful.

    Why? What's wrong with a friendly recognition of another country's holiday, for example? I do it all the time.

    here's a way to solve that problem...fly the us flag above the other flag. you are in america and should show the pride and respect that being an american means

    Actually, this is not correct. The US flag code, US military regulations and international custom all say that national flags should be at the same height when they're displayed together.

    i do not tolerate people flying their country's flag by it self to the point i will remove it.

    Well, I'm glad that you don't live near me, because I'd hate to have to have you arrested for trespassing and theft!

    Peter Ansoff
     
  16. Joe7000

    Joe7000 New Member

    This may be my only question due to the fact that I had to register in order to ask it.

    I am a Korean war veteran and I take our American flag very seriously. I live in a retirement community and recently a new neighbor moved in across the street from my house. I was about to introduce myself to my new neighbor but then I blinked my eyes at what I saw on a flagpole in his front yard. At first I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a Canadian flag APPENDED to a United States flag. It was one flag on one flagpole, with two countries depicted on the flag. In other words, the Canadian flag was a continuation of our American flag. Doing some research I found these monstrosities can easily be purchased from numerous stores here in the US. To me, this is a desecration of the American flag. I don't care if my new neighbor wants to fly a Canadian flag in his front yard. He can fly a North Korean or Russian flag if he so chooses. It is NOT acceptable to me for him to fly an American flag with another country's flag appended to it.

    My question is this: Is it Constitutionally legal for a private home owner to fly an American flag with a Canadian flag appended to it?

    Thanks, and I await some sort of lucid answer.
     
  17. APS221

    APS221 Member

    Yes. Flying an American flag with a Canadian flag appended to it is considered speech or expression, and therefore protected by the Constitution's First Amendment.
     
  18. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Another way to look at it: your neighbor is not flying the Flag of the United States. He is flying an "Ameri-Can" flag. His flag clearly does not meet specifications for the flag of the USA. Therefore, he is not defacing the American flag. I presume this is what his flag looks like?

    AmeriCan flag.jpg

    Yes, this is nit-picking. But that is what many of these issues come down to. I think it is fair to note that what the observer sees is not always what the owner intends.


    However, it does bring up another Constitutional issue. On the same flagpole, it is against International Law to fly one nation's flag above another except as a sign of victory in battle. Yet we occasionally see well-intentioned people fly the Canadian flag under the US flag on the same pole. Would this be protected speech under the US Constitution if a Canadian objected to it?
    Nick A
    Columbia Maryalnd
     
  19. Joe7000

    Joe7000 New Member

    I hope this is just your opinion. Otherwise, I suppose I can expect to see in the future, an American flag, flying with a swastika appended to it. And below that perhaps a North Korean flag appended to the swastika. And perhaps a Chinese communist flag appended to that, and so on... Maybe all of these flags can be adorned with a beautiful gold fringe. Please don't be offended with my sarcasm ~ I'm just using my right of free speech to make a point, don't you know? Or will this message be deleted because it is more distasteful than the prospect of a flag of any other country "tastefully" appended to the flag of the United States of America?
     
  20. Joe7000

    Joe7000 New Member

    Certainly, I'm not nit-picking. I spilled some blood defending our flag and our Constitution for which it stands and I resent any defacement of it whatsoever. I'm assuming you are an advocate of dual citizenship. Whether you are or not let me pose this question for those who are advocates: If the United States were to go to war against Canada will my neighbor kill me or share his ammunition with me?
     

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