When as a kid, our parents used to hang the flag carefully from our front porch, it used to fill me and my siblings with all pride and excitement. The holiday and the schools are a great opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of the American flag. At the same time, it is important to make sure that you follow the rules of proper American flag etiquette - because its vital for all of us to know how to treat the American flag with respect.
THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America.
And to the republic for which it stands
one nation under God
Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
Children learn the Pledge of Allegiance in school at a young age. Most of the time the pledge is an important part of the daily routine of every school going student’s life. But 3 and 4-year-olds don’t know much about what the United States flag represents and the sense of national pride it brings in saluting this American symbol of independence.
There's a long list of rules of how and how not to handle our nation's symbol of patriotism and unity, all explained in a "Flag Code" passed by Congress back in 1942.
Teaching Children About the Flag
Get the child their own flag - Purchasing your child their very own flag is a great method of teaching them the meaning of the flag. Flags.com sells American flags in many sizes. Receiving their own American stick flags can help them understand the flag as well as the country in a much better way.
Always remind them about the flag - When you see a flag on a vehicle, in a parade, or even waving on a flagpole, take a moment to remind the kids what the flag stands for - liberty, pride and independence - and how the brave hearts of the country relentlessly fought to obtain those values. Children retain more information than we realize and constantly pointing out instances of the flag will remind them of its importance.
You can also read to them books about the United States flag or watch historic videos. Respect for the flag is paramount to being a good, law-abiding citizen. We recommend “Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag” by Sarah Thomson and Bob Dacey.
There is a definite way to display the flag with honor, as outlined in the U.S. Flag Code, which has been in effect since 1942. Here's how to properly display the flag - small American flags, too.
- Never use the flag for advertising purposes.
- Never use the flag for decoration in general.
- It should never be used for carrying or delivering anything.
- It should always be cleaned and mended when necessary.
- When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object.
- To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
It is our national flag and it is important to show respect to the flag while you handle it. Kids learn from our actions more than our words and this will have a positive effect on your child. Their love and respect for the nation will be strengthened and they will follow suit.