Saving a flag of sentimental value?

Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by Nomad, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad New Member

    My friend donated the flag that draped his father's casket to his church to be displayed in their family life center. That was over 20 years ago. It is now faded and has an antique look. The church is replacing the flag since it's old. My friend would like to have the flag back IF and ONLY IF it is within proper flag etiquette and respectful to keep an old worn flag.

    Is it within proper etiquette for him to keep it or should it be destroyed according to code? Could he display it in some fashion, even if it's in a case indoors?
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, Nomad!

    Of course it's proper to keep and display an old flag, especially if it has historical or personal significance. There are a number of good ways to display it, depending on the size of the flag and the amount of space available. A casket flag could be either framed flat or folded in a special flag display case, for example.
  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Nomad!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forum!

    I agree with Peter. Since the Flag itself is a "family heirloom" of your friend's family, it can most definitely be kept as such.

    Regarding the "retirement" (destruction) of an old U.S. Flag, the U.S. Flag Code (ยง8. Respect For Flag, sub-section k.) states as follows : "The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." From your entry, I assume that since the Flag has been kept indoors so it doesn't have any rips or tears in it, and the only "damage" to it has been a slight age-related "yellowing" or "dulling" of the fabric. If that is so, then your friend has a family heirloom that is a "keeper".

    If (big IF) your friend wants to clean his Flag, I suggest that he HAND wash (NO machine!) it using a gentle detergent, such as "Wool-Lite", HAND rinse it (twice!), and lay it out flat to dry (NO clothes dryer!).

    If your friend wants to display his Father's Flag, it might be best if he does so in a specially designed Flag Display Case. The ones most commonly used are triangular in shape. Whichever kind of flag case he decides on, tell him to make sure that it is the "right size" for the Flag. Hopefully, he'll be able to find one that has some kind of brass plague/plate on it so he can have his Father's name and other information engraved on it.

    Thank You for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forum!

    Good Luck!

    Robin Hickman
    ("Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man")
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad New Member

    I thank you for the information. The church replaced the old flag with a beautiful brand new one and my buddy got his old one back and now plans to display it in his home.

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