US Service Flags Displayed In A Square Garden

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by FlagAdvocate, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    At another veterans memorial cemetery I visited this weekend, I found this display of the five US military service flags positioned on two sides of a square garden, with the American flag flying higher in the center. The photo was taken looking south. As depicted, the US Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps flags are placed on the northern side of this square garden from left to right. The US Army and Air Force flags are at the corners of the southern side of the square. Again, these flags seem to have been positioned randomly.

    I expect to have the opportunity to advise the cemetery staff in a few weeks about a more appropriate display arrangement, and again, I would like input from this Forum before I do so. Since this garden is oriented in a North-South direction, my preliminary thought is to recommend the US Army flag be placed where the US Navy flag currently is, and from left to right, place the Marine Corps flag next, followed by the Navy flag. On the south side corners of the square, place the US Air Force flag on the left and the US Coast Guard flag on the right, as if these flags were in a marching formation advancing toward the position where I took the photo.

    I look forward to hearing from other Forum members.
  2. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    I again sought the advice of the American Legion's flag expert, Jeff Hendricks, who replied that:

    The same thought process applies as in a circle, triangle, square, or other shape of flags not in a file or line formation. The higher center flag is the point of honor, the other flags radiating around it would be in order in a counter-clockwise fashion.

    While the starting point for the US Army flag is always difficult to pinpoint in these configurations, we recommend either at the point first encountered from the high-speed avenue of approach (directly from the entrance) or starting at the Northern most point, if there are multiple common entrances to this display.

    Therefore, I have decided that since there are in fact multiple common entrances to this display, I will recommend placing the US Army flag at the northeast corner of the square garden (where the US Navy flag currently is in the photo) and arrange the rest of the service flags in a counter clockwise direction around the square as suggested, ending with the US Coast Guard flag at the southeast corner (where the US Army flag currently is in the photo).
  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member


    STATE Flag?

    POW*MIA Flag?
  4. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Hi Robin,

    I'm not sure why you ask about the Merchant Marine, State, and POW/MIA flags since they are not involved in this memorial cemetery display. However, if you are asking what the arrangement should be if they were involved with the five military service flags, my guess is that one should follow their Order of Precedence in a counter clockwise direction, with the flag highest in that order at the northern most honor point of the configuration surrounding the US flag. That sure would be an interesting display.
  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, Bill!

    Actually, my thoughts are that the whole "square" thing needs to be torn out and a new, better thought-out and planned, Veterans' Memorial be built in its place. In its current configuration, the flagpole for the U.S. Coast Guard Flag is on the OUTSIDE of the square, indicating that it was probably added as an after-thought. I don't know how old that Veterans' Memorial is, but I'd hazard a guess that it was created when there were still only Four (4) services before the U.S. Army Air Corps was split out of the U.S. Army to become the U.S. Air Force back in September, 1947. Currently, when we think of the Armed Forces, we acknowledge that there are Five (5) services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. So a "square" memorial just won't do.

    So why add the Merchant Marine Flag? Well, during both World War One ("The Great War") and World War Two, The Merchant Marine was considered one of the armed forces. However, after World War Two, Merchant Marine Veterans had some trouble applying for, being made eligible for, and receiving, the same Veterans' Benefits that Veterans of the other Armed Forces got. I don't know how big that cemetery is, or how many Veterans are buried there, but I think there's a good chance that there might be some Merchant Mariners.

    Why the State Flag? Because regardless of where and when they were born, or what service they served in, or where and when they served, ALL of the Veterans buried in that cemetery, are buried in that State.

    Why the POW*MIA Flag? Well. . . . . Instead of writing two or three paragraphs clearly showing "why" the POW*MIA Flag should be included, how about it should be included just because of the VOW written on the POW*MIA Flag: "YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN"?

    Like I said at the beginning, I think they should come up with a modern and more comprehensive and inclusive design for the memorial. Then tear out the old one and build the new one, and dedicate it to ALL of the Veterans interred there regardless of their service.

    But then, it's only my opinion, so I don't really have a "say" in it because it's not my town or my dollars.

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.

    FlagAdvocate likes this.
  6. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    You make a good point Robin. Thank you. I'll pass on your thoughts when I meet with the organization responsible for maintaining this veterans memorial cemetery flag display.
  7. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, Bill!

    In my first post up above, I was in a hurry so I just asked the questions about the three Flags. I didn't take the time to adequately write out my thoughts on the entire matter. Sorry for creating any confusion bout it for anybody. My Bad!


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