As the war with Iraq draws closer, patriotism on the homefront is on the rise and for some, the issue of flag etiquett is more important than ever. When it comes to showing your American pride, for many of us, there's no better way than flying the stars and stripes. On Monday one local war veteran carried a strong message across the city. If your going to fly this flag, do it right.
Steve Brooks is no stranger to the death and destruction of war. "I was in the marine corps from 1968 to 1972. I did two tours in 'nam as a machine gunner," he says.
As a Vietnam Veteran, Steve now spends each day sitting behind a desk, helping other veterans find jobs at the Texas Workforce Commission. But today Steve's on a much different mission. He's a Vietnam veteran turned advocate for flag etiquette. "It's important to me because I've been in places where you didn't see that flag you appreciate it when you do see it."
Steve shared his appreciation with others at a flag dedication ceremony at safety city. Complete with a list of flag etiquette rules everyone should know.
"If you're flying it privately around your house or something you want to fly it where it's not encumbered or bothered by something around it," says Steve.
He says to make sure you keep your flag away from trees and other obstacles. "People can fly them on their cars put the decals on the cars or windows. Again whenever it gets to a condition where it no longer represents an honorable flag it should be retired or replaced," says Steve.
West Texas weather can cut a flag's flying time in half. "When it's faded out and no longer has the bright colors when the good old West Texas wind has started fraying it or separating it," says Steve.
To some, these rules may sound like common sense, but Steve often sees flag-flying mistakes.
"I was driving past a business one morning and they had the flag flying upside down. When I got to work I called them and asked what the emergency was they said, what do you mean, why are you flying the flag upside down that's a sign of distress, you got a problem with your hamburgers," says Steve.