June 14th was proclaimed as a national Flag Day on May 30th 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. In August of 1949, National Flag Day was established as an official Act of Congress. However, it is not an official federal holiday. It’s considered a day of observance.

Many homes and businesses throughout the USAdisplay our national flag proudly as a symbol of their patriotism to our great land. We fly our flags on poles attached to our homes, trees or mounted in the ground. Our flags are subjected to year round inclement weather and after awhile can become faded and tattered.

So what should we do when our flags that are displayed outdoors become tattered from the elements? The United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k, states: The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem to display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. When I did some research on the internet, I found that there are a couple of options as to what to do with a flag that becomes tattered. The first thing to consider is the condition of the flag. That determination is in the eye of the beholder. So, when you see that your stars and stripes are looking a little ragged, consider the options below as to what your next steps will be to care for our national emblem.

• One option is to have another flag ready, so that when you see the early signs of wear, you replace it with a fresh one. Mend the worn flag, and wash it in a washing machine with gentle laundry detergent, and lay it flat or hang it to dry.

• The other option is to destroy the flag in a dignified way, preferably by burning, as the US Flag Code states above. Most of the major veteran’s organizations, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America have their respective ceremonies.