What’s Right about the US Flag? What’s Left?

Harper's April 2012 cover - detailWhat’s wrong with this picture? OK. Let me back up. The above image is from the cover of the April issue of the second-oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States. (Scientific American is the oldest, but it’s not as likely they have a flag on their cover often.) That said, this artwork by one Michael Mitra really shocked us. [Yes, we cropped out the part the editors and artist thought was controversial.] No, what torqued our jaws was the alignment of the flag backdrop. It even inspired us to add a new question regarding Flag Etiquette on our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. It, in turn, offers a link to the CRS Report for Congress entitled The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions. In that document, §7 (i) clearly states:

When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

Well, to be fair, the image does show the proper use of the little Lapel Pin. (Of course we sell those.) The CRS Report states:

… the Code recognized the wearing of a flag patch or pin on the left side (near the heart) …

So is all this much ado about nothing? We think not, but would enjoy your comments.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply