Patriots who fly the American flag today (Monday) should not “run it up the flagpole” all the way first thing in the morning. Jerry Frederickson, state adjutant quartermaster for Iowa’s VFW, says the custom is to raise flags only to half-staff in the morning. It’s a national remembrance for veterans who’ve died in the service. But Memorial Day also recognizes the service members who are still living, and that’s why at noon, flags will begin flying at the top of the pole. As with other ceremonial presentations of the American flag, Frederickson says there is a particular way this should be done. In the morning, raise that flag all the way and then lower it to half-staff, then at noon lower the flag and then raise it all the way to the top again. If you don’t have a flagpole, it’s acceptable to hang the flag flat on a wall, over a balcony, or in a window — but Frederickson says there’s also a correct way that should be done: Hang it so as you view it from the street, the field of stars is in the upper left-hand corner, not on the right. And at three P.M. in every local time zone the VFW also promotes a moment of reflection on Memorial Day. They ask everyone to stop what they’re doing at three P.M., and take a “moment of silence” to think about those who’ve died. There are about 28-thousand veterans of foreign wars in the state.
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