WHO STANDS BEHIND THE FLAG
NQC founder Shawn Alladio (second from left)
Who Stands Behind the Flag was a flag tribute that ended in December 2012
The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground and, if flown at night, must be illuminated. If the edges become tattered through wear, the flag should be repaired or replaced. When a flag is so tattered that it can no longer serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. The American Legion and other organizations regularly conduct flag retirement ceremonies, often on Flag Day, June 14. (The Boy Scouts of America recommends that modern nylon or polyester flags be recycled instead of burned, due to hazardous gases being produced when such materials are burned.)
Significantly, the Flag Code prohibits using the flag "for any advertising purpose" and also states that the flag "should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use". Both of these codes are generally ignored, almost always without comment.
One of the most commonly ignored and misunderstood aspects of the Flag Code is section 8. "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery." Section 3 of the Flag Code defines a flag for the purposes of the code. Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. Flag Code does permit the use of flag design in fashion et cetera, provided that such a design was not formed using the actual design of the flag. The wearing of any article of clothing representing the flag is allowed, however, the flag itself is not.
Although the Flag Code is U.S. federal law, it is only binding on government institutions displaying the flag: there is no penalty for a private citizen or group failing to comply with the Flag Code and it is not widely enforced—indeed, punitive enforcement would conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Passage of the proposed Flag Desecration Amendment would overrule legal precedent that has been established.