New American Flags to Adorn the Modesto Arch
The American flag has stood as a symbol of freedom since the inception of our great nation. To reflect its importance, the flag stands on continuous display at the White House, the Washington Monument, the United States Capitol Building and at U.S. Customs and Board Protection ports of entry. Our flag has been displayed on every U.S. spacecraft designed for flight and first appeared on a U.S. postal stamp in 1926. The flag should be displayed at full staff on many days of national importance, such as Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. At times you will see a flag flown at half-staff as a sign of respect or mourning – and only state governors can decide to lower the flag, according to the U.S. Code.
When I drive through the great city of Modesto and surrounding communities, it fills me with pride to see homes adorned with the American Flag. Flying our nation’s colors comes with great responsibility and must be done in accordance with the United States Flag Code, which outlines certain guidelines for the use, display and disposal of the flag. Many are aware that the flag should never be allowed to touch the ground but may not be aware that, if flown at night, it 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.
In 2012, I had the great honor of donating two American Flags to fly over our beloved Modesto Arch in celebration of its 100th birthday. So, when visitors come into Modesto and pass under the arch bearing the city’s motto “Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health,” they also see our nation’s flags flying proudly. The two flags you see flown over our Modesto Arch were also flown over the United States Capitol Building before being transported to our city.
Over time, due to weather, these two flags have become tattered. They now need to be replaced, and when the Modesto Chamber of Commerce approached me about donating another set of flags, I agreed to do so without hesitation. During the April recess I proudly presented Vice Mayor David Cogdill Jr., representing the City of Modesto, with two new American Flags for installation above the Modesto Arch. I hope that this donation will continue to ensure that all of us in the Central Valley remember what our flag stands for – prosperity, strength and freedom for all.