A U.S. Marine veteran demonstrates flag etiquette at FMIS

In a flag raising ceremony, held Wednesday,  Marine Corps veteran James Gibson of Vilonia, showed fourth graders at FMIS how to properly raise Old Glory, fold it and about the significance of doing so.

For more than 200 years, Gibson said, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s strength and unity. It’s been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens, he said. Respect is why we stand for the flag. That is why we stand for the national anthem and that is why we stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We do it out of respect. In the past 200 years, many have fought for it and defended it,” he told the students.

The colors of the flag are three specific colors of red, white and blue, he added. They are symbolic, he explained.   Red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

Regarding the proper folding process, Gibson said, fold the flag in half width-wise twice. If done by two, then the blue field should be facing the bottom on the first fold. Fold up a triangle, starting at the striped end ... and repeat ... until only the end of the union is exposed. Then fold down the square into a triangle and tuck inside the folds.

On special days, the flag may be flown at half-staff, he told students. On Memorial Day it is flown at half-staff until noon and then raised.

When flown at half-staff, it should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. Half-staff, he explained, is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff.

Students, chosen by Gibson, helped with demonstrating the proper techniques.