American flags in East County

I am a United States Coast Guard veteran and an advocate for veterans in San Diego.

Our flag is emblematic of honor, hope, and safety. We honor our freedoms and our fallen with our flag.

As a resident in Lakeside, I have had to follow behind racing vehicles with huge flags waving from their truckbeds. I drive around and businesses have a cascade of American flags and I am not sure why. If I were a customer I would assume they are more concerned with decorative flags than my business. 

There is an etiquette for the use of the American flag.

I have seen them line the freeway and become evening fodder on the local news. The flag is a symbol of respect, honor, and patriotism. The top two rules are a must.

The custom is to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on flagstaffs in the open, but it may be displayed at night—if illuminated—to produce a patriotic effect.

The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement.

I have lost count of the number of flags in this area; I do know that not one of these flags will house a homeless veteran, employ a veteran, send a military kid to a sports camp or help a military family.

So, I have a suggestion:

In honor of each one of those flags; each person or business that wants to decorate their business and vehicles with the American flag to excess donates a monthly amount to a verified military organization. Then you can fly the flag and it will seem more appropriate.

The American Flag will always be emblematic of the men and women I have served with. I only ask that you respect and treat it with honor. And at the end of the day, help some veterans in real-time.

Denise Graham