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Flag represents every part of our country

Greetings from your District 36 senator.

I would like to talk about our American flag in this article. On June 14, 1777, Congress passed an act stating "That the flag of the 13 United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

This was the birthday of the flag as we now know it and June 14 is now celebrated as flag Day.

In April 1818, Congress passed an act providing that the admission of every new state to the Union a star should be added on the following July 4 and this has been the regulation ever since. Today we have 50 stars representing the 50 states.

President George Washington describes the colors in the flag: The white in the flag symbolizes our desire for liberty -- the land of the free. The red signifies the courage and sacrifices of the nation's defenders (men and women who served in the military). The blue refers to the loyalty and unity of our citizens.

Public Law 344, passed in the 94th Congress, is known as the Federal Flag Code. It is the guide for handling and display of the U.S. flag. The code does not impose penalties for the misuse of the flag, but gives us instructions on the etiquette of the flag.

There are 22 instructions on how to handle the flag, how to display the flag, what items can use the flag, the preference of the flag when displayed with other flags, and how to dispose of the flag.

There is one guide that I am concerned about today. This is what we do when the flag is used in parades or being presented at a public ceremony.

The code states that when the flag is passing in a parade or presented at a public ceremony that we should stand at attention facing the flag with our right hand over our heart.

Men not in uniform should remove their headgear with their right hand and hold the headgear and right hand over their heart. Those in military uniform should render the military salute.

I have noticed that over the last few years that not many people honor the flag by doing this code regulation. I feel many people do not understand what the flag means to us citizens in this great country. I was taught this code as a young boy in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. We also did the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of classes each morning in grade school in Dunn Center. Every morning when I served in the Army in Korea, we raised the flag at our Army base and showed respect for the flag with a military salute.

We need to get back to the basics of the founders of this country. The flag represents every part of our country. It is the symbol of who we are and where we came from! We need to remember the men and women who served our country and those who gave their lives for what the flag represents.

This July 4, I ask you to show your respect for our country and honor the flag when it passes in a parade. Let us teach our young people to honor the flag and our country for what it is.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Please contact me with your thoughts and concerns.

Nodland can be reached at