Proper American flag display in print advertising

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by Roberty Nolan, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Roberty Nolan

    Roberty Nolan New Member

    I publish a small, full color glossy magazine. One of my advertisers, a hair salon, would like to place the American Flag and the Dominican flag in the ad. They are US citizens but have a Dominican following. They are proud of both.

    The flags are not part of the ad design but will be placed in the ad. I am not comfortable with placing the American flag in an advertisement and am asking for help in what is the proper display of the American flag in advertising, specifically when a flag of another country is present.

    Our deadline is in 2 days so any quick help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much.

    Robert Nolan
     
  2. american_flag_uk

    american_flag_uk Moderator

    hi there and welcome to USA flag site.

    the flag code says- The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

    if the salon is wanting the flags there simply to show their pride then you could let them - and place the US flag in top left corner of the ad and the dominican flag in the top right of the ad

    its up to your discression really and whether you think that your readers might get offended by seeing the flag printed in an advert- they might see it as advertising with the flag to promote their business - without knowing the hair salons intentions of simply showing pride...
    the hair salon could show their pride by displaying the two flags at the salon

    what do you think?
     
  3. roger.rowe

    roger.rowe New Member

    The Flag Code does not cover printed material.The Flag Code covers items that are flags, and not depictions of flags.
    Simply put, the printed material and what is depicted upon said material has never been a flag and never will be a flag, so is not covered by the flag code.
     
  4. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member


    Not quite true. According to the Flag Code:

    "(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown. "

    An illustration in a book or magazine is, of course, appropriate. A flag illustration in conjunction with an advertisement could be questionable but I think you can get away with without offending.
     
  5. roger.rowe

    roger.rowe New Member

    I did respond hastily and failed to give a more detailed explanation of my interpretation. i shall provide an explanation of my stance. Simply put, I believe that the printed depiction of the US Flag is not a flag and as such does not violate the Flag Code. I hold this belief based upon reasoning that follows.
    First, “What is a flag?â€￾ the answer to this simple question is fundamental to the explanation of my stance on this matter. I believe that:
    (a) That a flag must be capable of being displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall (Flag Code, §7 - Position and manner of display, i.); and
    (b) That a flag must be capable of being hoisted upon flagstaff (Flag Code, §6 - Time and occasions for display, a-b); and
    (c) A flag is capable of being flown at half-staff (Flag Code, §7 - Position and manner of display, m.1.); and
    (d) One may cover the casket of a veteran with a flag. (Flag Code, §7 - Position and manner of display, n.).
    The aforementioned sections of the Flag Code give specific attributes of a Flag, and how the flag must be displayed in different circumstances. Item (a) means more than what appears to be stated, as this means to be a flag the item in question must have the image of the flag correctly portrayed on both sides; a flag is not a one sided image for one could not move the flag from the horizontal display to a vertical display otherwise. The US Flag must always have the union in the upper left corner when displayed upon a wall.
    With regards to §8. Respect for flag, (i). I hold the belief that this provision is referring to an actual flag; the term embroidered is referring to the actual flag being sewn to a separate article as opposed to a flag patch as referred to in (§8. Respect for flag, (j).); and that the flag shall not be made from a temporary material inappropriate for draping over a casket.
    So, while some may find flag clothing inappropriate and lacking in taste others consider this as a demonstration of their patriotism. As long as a person does not actually take a genuine flag and fashion it into an article of clothing, or use an actual flag in an advertisement, then I beleive that there is no violation of the Flag Code.
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
     
  6. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    roger.rowe
    Your definition of a flag seems to make it is impossible to print a flag on a napkin, an act specifically prohibited by the Flag Code.

    The way I interpret the code is that you may, indeed, print a picture of a waving flag on a napkin, or box, or postage stamp, or a doormat for that matter. However, you may not print the napkin or box or stamp or doormat so that it appears to be the flag itself. Here are pictures of two US Civil War patriotic covers, the first is an image of a waving flag that is acceptable, but the second appears to be the flag itself, which is inappropriate.

    CWPatPoem.JPG

    CWFlagVerse.jpg
     
  7. roger.rowe

    roger.rowe New Member

    You must have missed my definition of a flag (a-d). I do not believe that either image is inappropriate, as they do not meet my simple definition of a flag.
    I know i do not always make myself clear.
    From my point of view, the flag code defines the flag, how it is to be displayed, and not displayed, and all of the provisions work together and are applicable at all times. Since all parts of the code must apply at all times, a flag must be of the appropriate structure to represent a flag, two sided, of the appropriate dimensions, and capable of being displayed upon a flagstaff, etc.
    Since I would never assume that a napkin depicting the image of the flag was to be flown upon a staff, I do not believe that one may not print images of the flag upon a napkin.
    Basically, the napkin was never a flag, was never intended to be a flag, and will never be a flag, so the code does not restrict the placing of an image upon the napkin or anything else that does not meet the criteria for being a flag. one can print an image of a flag on the napkin provided the napkin is not intended to be a flag.
     
  8. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    "You must have missed my definition of a flag (a-d)."

    I did, indeed, see your definition. And it has merit if you want to narrowly define "flag" as a tangible object that flies from a staff, etc. However, I think the definition should be more inclusive.

    You are welcome to define a flag that way, but your definition conflicts with that of the group that wrote the Flag Code in 1923. They believe a printed representation of a flag IS a flag. The flag code says "The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins..."

    If you delete the extraneous material it reads:

    "The flag should never be ... printed ... on ... napkins..."

    That tells me that a printed image is a flag, and must be treated with respect as if it were a cotton flag flying from a pole. It does not matter that the napkin was not intended to be used as a flag by affixing it to a stick.

    The definition of "seal" is equally broad. For example, the Great Seal of the United States is the steel matrix that is used to emboss the image of the seal on little wafers affixed to documents. It is also the embossed image of the Great Seal. It is also painted illustrations of the seal.
     
  9. roger.rowe

    roger.rowe New Member

    I shall remain focused upon the definition of the flag, and leave discussion of the seal to another forum.

    Now, we get to the crux of this discussion and the differences of opinion.“ want to narrowly define "flag" as a tangible object that flies from a staff, etc. [You] think the definition should be more inclusive.†We are looking at the same flag code, and yet interpret the provisions of the code differently.

    For example, you provided two images, and I disagree with you when you state that one image is inappropriate, as it â€appears to be the flag itselfâ€. I hold that something that “appears†to be a flag is not a flag, but a replica (Flag Code, §8 - Respect for flag, j.). Therefore I disagree with your assertion that “They believe a printed representation of a flag IS a flag†and “that the printed image is a flag “. I stand by my opinion, they are replicas.

    However, I recognize that a flag pin should be worn like a flag, but it is still a replica of a flag and not an actual flag. The code specifically states that a flag pin is not a flag! Yet you hold the opinion that a printed image is a flag. An image is not a flag, an image is a replica. A replica that should be afforded some respect, but a replica may not demand the same respect as an original. So, as the code states that “The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose†the code is not referring to a replica.

    When I delete the extraneous material it reads: "The flag should never be ... anything that is designed for temporary use and discard."

    While I do not know the minds of the group that wrote the Flag Code in 1923, I do not believe that they ever envisioned someone that would not know the difference between a flag, a pin, and a napkin!
     
  10. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Roger:

    You wrote "When I delete the extraneous material it reads: "The flag should never be ... anything that is designed for temporary use and discard." This implies that a printed image is NOT a flag.

    As I noted before, I read the code as saying "The flag should never be printed on anything designed for temporary use."

    This implies that the printed image IS a flag and should not be dishonored.

    Let us agree, then, that our interpretations differ, and that we shall respectfully disagree on this issue.

    Regards,

    Nick

    ps I wonder if anyone else wants to jump in on this discussion?
     
  11. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Active Member

    .
    I DO !!!

    I DO !!!

    Pick ME !

    Pick ME !

    Me, Me, ME !!!

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE !!!

    (If you don't mind?)

    Robin
    .
     
  12. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Well, Robin, what do you have to say for yourself? Does the United States Flag Code say that a printed representation of a flag is NOT a flag?
    Nick
     
  13. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Active Member

    .
    Originally, I wanted to post an entry here about what "IS" and "is NOT" a Flag, or more precisely, what MY personal opinion of what "IS" and "is NOT" a Flag.

    But... I decided not to because it would take too long for me to type out the whole thing.

    Suffice it for me to say that, in my personal opinion, you're ALL both "right" and "wrong". Roger Rowe is both right and wrong, NAVA1974 is both right and wrong, and the U.S. Flag Code is both right and wrong.

    Somebody is probably wondering, "Both right and wrong? In what way?"

    And they would probably have good reasons to wonder. But, again, it would probably take me too long to type the whole thing out.

    Maybe it's the DIFFERENCE between ME and a PICTURE of me. I am ME and a picture of me is, well, JUST a picture. One (ME!) is a living, breathing, three dimensional, sentient, human being, and the other is, you guessed it, JUST a picture of me.

    My wife just notified me that dinner is ready.

    Talk to you later !

    Robin "Spaghetti for dinner? Oh, Boy!" Hickman
    .
     
  14. american_flag_uk

    american_flag_uk Moderator

    Tut Tut! Your wife is slaving away at the cooker and your on the computer?? That sounds a like a similer arrangement that me and my boyfriend have!!

    To me - a flag is something that is capable of being flown off a pole.. in the case of the US flag - a rectangular piece of cloth with said US flag design on it.

    For me I've grown up and live in the UK all my life- we have no flag code here. Really to be honest I think some of the stuff in the US flag code is just silly... or at least the reasons behind the rules are not properly explained.

    I think the vexillologists of the USA (and me if I was to be invited :p) should get together and draw up a new flag code, then go and present it to the big guys that make all the decisions and try and get a more up to date easier to understand flag code that todays people can understand and adhere to- and that makes sense in modern day life.

    For me there is certain things that are OK and that aren't OK when it comes to 'respect' for things with the flag or its design printed on them

    The 'not ok' things for me are:

    DOORMATS
    NAPKINS
    and basically anything which is meant for the purpose of cleaning dirt off things or people.

    Why?? because to me that is disrespectful to purposely wipe dirt upon the design of the flag because though it is not the flag - it still represents it.

    I have a couple of flag printed napkins also with the Statue of Liberty on. They were given to me and I save those as collectors items.. There is no way I will use them for their intended purpose.

    Everything else with the flag design on it is perfectly fine with me- but I don't treat these things with the same respect as I would a flag. If its a flag printed shirt, its treated like all my other shirts.
    I am NOT going to start making sure that its on its own right when I hang the shirts out on the washing line!!
     
  15. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Robin and American_flag_uk:
    Thanks for helping to clarify the issue. My position that a printed image IS a flag is based my interpretation of the wording in the Flag Code, not my personal opinion as to whether or not a flag has to be able to "fly." I agree that this is an open question and the Flag Code is not the best and final answer. HOWEVER since the U.S. Flag Code is officially the law of the land (albeit unenforceable) I claim that when the Code says that a flag should not be printed on a napkin, it means that a flag printed on a napkin is a flag. If it said that AN IMAGE of the flag should not be printed on a napkin, then the image on the napkin would not be a flag. Just like those two Civil War envelopes I illustrated - I believe the one showing the little waving flag is just a patriotic illustration, but when the flag covers the entire front of the envelope then the only way to address the envelope is to deface "The Flag" by writing across the stripes. Of course, that was not thought inappropriate during the mid-19th century they way it is now.
    Nick
     
  16. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Active Member

    .
    Hi, Nick ! :D

    If you are correct, then, in "civilian" terms, you are correct ONLY in the District of Columbia, Washington D.C. :cool:

    If you are incorrect, then, in "civillian" terms, you are incorrect in ALL 50 States and ALL other United States Territories, Districts, Possessions, Protectorates, and commonwealths. :cool:

    United States Code Title 4
    Chapter 1 — The Flag

    Section §3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag

    Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court.

    The words "flag, standard, colors, or ensign", as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.


    There are only TWO sentences in Section 3, and BOTH of them refer ONLY to people living "within the District of Columbia" (AKA: "Washington D.C.") and their actions and the applied definitions thereof. ALL other areas and juristiction OUTSIDE of the District of Columbia thus are NOT bound by the restrictions and descriptions rendered in Section 3.


    See how "EASY" that was ???

    EASY, that is, until we check out "Section 8 (Respect for flag)" !!! :eek:


    Robin Hickman
    .
     
  17. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    Since the Flag Code is in the Code of Federal Regulations, it is a binding requirement within the entire USA. However, as you correctly note, only within D.C. are penalties specified for violations of provisions of the Flag Code. So if you are marching in Maryland or Virginia and carrying defaced American flags along the way you might want to hide them prior to crossing into the District!
    Nick
     
  18. roger.rowe

    roger.rowe New Member

    Sorry, I missed a couple of days, so let me catch up.

    Nick, when you state "My position that a printed image IS a flag is based my interpretation of the wording in the Flag Code, not my personal opinion as to whether or not a flag has to be able to 'fly.'", you imply that my position that a flag must be able to fly has less weight than your position. When in fact, your interpretation is an opinion, just as my opinion is an interpretation.

    I stand by my opinion that the Flag Code, by defining how the US Flag may be displayed, also defines the attributes by which one can recognize a US Flag. That is, I believe that to be considered a US Flag, an item must possess the ability to be displayed in the manner prescribed within the Flag Code; that an item incapable of being displayed in the manner prescribed for a US Flag is not a US Flag.

    I do not believe that "the average person [upon seeing an item] without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America", means that said item is a US Flag; I do concede that they may believe that it represents a US Flag. I believe that the Flag Code defines the US Flag as a tangible object that represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.

    While some may find clothing that appears representative of the US Flag as inappropriate and lacking in taste, others consider this as a demonstration of their patriotism. Of course, Nick’s interpretation that is more inclusive would prevent “Uncle Samâ€￾ from marching in a parade on July 4 as the clothing represents the US Flag!

    Roger
     
  19. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Active Member

    .
    Hi, Nick ! :D


    QUOTE : "Since the Flag Code is in the Code of Federal Regulations, it is a binding requirement within the entire USA."

    Untrue.

    For many reasons the above statement is untrue. In regards to this particular thread, however, the MAIN reason for it's inaccuracy is that there are a great many provisions contained in various "sections" and sub-sections" in the U.S. Code and it's Titles and Chapters that are "location" or "site" specific. Wherein, their provisions, rules, regulations, etc., pretain to that location and to that location ONLY and have no force of effect in any other juristiction outside of the one cited.

    An example might be a section or sub-section of the U.S. Code that specifically ensures that one particular type of fish, out of many, are "protected" in one river and in that one river only, but are NOT protected in another. In other words, "location" or "site" specific.


    Such is the case of the United States Code, Title 4 - The Flag, Chapter 1, (Section) §3. (See Below)


    QUOTE : "However, as you correctly note, only within D.C. are penalties specified for violations of provisions of the Flag Code."

    Contrary to your belief, I did NOT note, correctly or incorrectly, that, "only within D.C. are penalties specified for violations of provisions of the Flag Code".

    What I pointed out, and correctly noted, was that the ENTIRE portion (all two sentences) of United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, §3, applies to the area of the Federal District of Columbia (D.C.) and ONLY to D.C., entirely EXCLUDING all other civilian areas in the United States of America.

    QUOTE : "There are only TWO sentences in Section 3, and BOTH of them refer ONLY to people living "within the District of Columbia" (AKA: "Washington D.C.") and their actions and the applied definitions thereof. ALL other areas and juristiction OUTSIDE of the District of Columbia thus are NOT bound by the restrictions and descriptions rendered in Section 3."


    The FIRST sentence in Section 3 tells us, not once but twice, that it solely focused on that area, and ONLY on that area "within the District of Columbia".

    The SECOND sentence in Section 3 gives us a "description" or "meaning" of what a "Flag" is "within the District of Columbia" as it pretains to the FIRST Sentence. At the very beginning of the 2nd sentence it makes that point very clear : "The words "flag, standard, colors, or ensign", as used herein...". The term, "as used herein" means within United States Code, Title 4 - The Flag, Chapter 1, (Section) §3

    I hope this will clear up any misunderstandings regarding United States Code, Title 4 - The Flag, Chapter 1, (Section) §3.

    Have a Flag-tastic Day !!! :D

    Robin Hickman
    .
     
  20. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Active Member

    .
    Hello, Roger.Rowe ! :D

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site forums !


    As I stated in my second posting in this thread, I believe that YOU are both "right" and "wrong", and that NAVA1974 (Nick) is both "right" and "wrong", and that the U.S. Flag Code is both "right" and "wrong".

    While your mis-guided attempts to use convoluted "logic" and parsed out words from un-related sentences and paragraphs to "prove" your point have been pretty much "off-the-mark", they have, at least, served a useful purpose in showing how difficult it is to "prove a negative".

    I've read and re-read your entries and I must say that each time I read through your list of "proofs" and "attributes" as to what you think constitutes a "Flag", it always crosses my mind that YOUR list of "proofs" & "attributes" could also be applied to "prove" that YOU are a Flag, too!


    Silly of me, isn't it? :cool:


    In my 2nd posting to this thread (previously mentioned) I tried to show what I thought the difference was between a "Flag" and an "image" of a Flag when I used a metaphor about myself in place of the Flag, and I QUOTE :

    "Maybe it's the DIFFERENCE between ME and a PICTURE of me. I am ME and a picture of me is, well, JUST a picture. One (ME!) is a living, breathing, three dimensional, sentient, human being, and the other is, you guessed it, JUST a picture of me."


    When Nick (NAVA1974) posted the two Civil War era "covers", he was able to show the difference between something that had a "Flag" printed ON it (as "acceptable") and something that was printed to "look like" the Flag (as "unacceptable").

    In the last paragraph of your most recent posting, you wrote : "While some may find clothing that appears representative of the US Flag as inappropriate and lacking in taste, others consider this as a demonstration of their patriotism. Of course, Nick’s interpretation that is more inclusive would prevent “Uncle Samâ€￾ from marching in a parade on July 4 as the clothing represents the US Flag!"

    I believe that you have mistaken Nick's position. In fact, I believe that it is quite the opposite! I mean, we're talking about UNCLE SAM !!!


    I believe that Nick would be quite accepting of Uncle Sam's "attire"!


    I believe Nick would find Uncle Sam's "uniform" to be acceptable!


    I wouldn't be at all surprised if sometime in the past 35 years, Nick, himself, marched in a parade AS our very own Uncle Sam !!!


    In fact, WHO could POSSIBLY object to Uncle Sam when he's dressed like THIS ??? Everybody LOVES Uncle Sam when he's dressed up like THIS !!! :


    UncleSam-PullMyFinger.jpg


    SEE ??? :D


    Have a "Uncle Sammy" Day, everybody !!!


    Robin "Pull My Finger!" Hickman
    .
     

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