July 4. Surely everyone knows to fly the flag on Independence Day, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.*
In the month of the grand patriotic celebration, what other dates do we fly the U.S. flag? July 4 is the only date designated in the Flag Code for all Americans to fly the flag. Three states joined the union in July, days on which citizens of those states should show the colors, New York, Idaho and Wyoming.
Plus, there is one date many veterans think we should still fly the flag, Korean War Veterans Armistice Day on July 27. Oddly, the law designating that date urges flying the flag only until 2003, the 50th anniversary of the still-standing truce in that war. But the law still exists. What’s a patriot to do?
Patriots may watch to see whether the president issues a proclamation for the date.Generally we don’t note state holidays or state-designated flag-flying events, such as Utah’s Pioneer Day, July 24, which marks the day in 1847 that the Mormon pioneers in the party of Brigham Young exited what is now Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley. But it’s a big day in Utah, where I spent a number of years and still have family. And I still have memories, not all pleasant, of that five-mile march for the Days of ’47 Parade, in that wool, long-sleeved uniform and hat, carrying the Sousaphone. Pardon my partisan exception. Utahns will fly their flags on July 24.
- Idaho statehood, July 3 (1890, 43rd state)
- Independence Day, July 4
- Wyoming statehood, July 10 (1890, 44th state)
- New York statehood, July 26 (1788, 11th state)
- National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, July 27 (flags fly at half-staff, if you are continuing the commemoration which was designated in law only until 2003)
- How to Display Your American Flag on the Fourth of July – Very brief list of Flag Code rules for displaying the U.S. flag, conveniently provided by the Student Life staff at the University of Michigan
* July 4? But didn’t John Adams say it should be July 2? And, yes, the staff at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub sadly noted that, at most July 4 parades, it appears no one salutes the U.S. flag as it passes, as the Flag Code recommends. MFB’s been fighting flag etiquette ignorance since 2006. It’s taking much, much longer than we wished.