American flags must be properly illuminated at night

Letters to the Editor - 6/5/14 edition

June 3, 2014 

Dear Editor,

I'd like to respond to Kevin Jonas' letter of last week, in which he expressed his joy and pride at seeing the American flags displayed in the Oakhill Cemetery, but not happy they were not up for the whole Memorial Day weekend.

In 2006, the local American Legion, Marine Corps League and the VFT started the Avenue of Flags at the Oakhill Cemetery in Oakhurst to honor our veterans, particularly those who gave their lives in service to our country. Today, the Marine Corps League Griswold Mountain Detachment #1121 manages the Avenue of Flags. This Memorial Day, we put up 44 flags.

The Avenue of Flags is put up on Memorial and Veterans days. Our flags are burial flags, made of cotton, and donated by the next of kin or relative of a veteran who has died. We have chosen to display the flags only on these two days because of their significance. The rules and customs of displaying them are in accordance with the July 7, 1976 amendment to the Flag Code (Public Law 94.344, 94th Congress, S.J. Res. 49).

These rules state that it is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. The flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

It is our duty to treat these flags with respect and to preserve them as we assured the donors when they entrusted them to our care. Again, they are made of cotton. To leave them up a night, even if properly illuminated, would increase their deterioration from moisture and mildew. Flags left up all night at other cemeteries, in some cases, are no illuminated and some have been stolen.

While we share Mr. Jonas' joy and pride at seeing the flags displayed, we do not share his ignorance about how and when flags should be displayed.

G.G. Bosworth, Ahwahnee

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