Independence Day Do's and Don’ts
July 4 serves as the single biggest day of American patriotism, and everyone should get out and participate in the festivities. But before you do, consider these simple rules for displaying your independence.
DO: Fly the American Flag
If you’ve got a flag pole, the flag should be raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously (or raise it for show quickly and bring down at the end of the day slowly). Bring it down if the weather gets inclement (translation: big storms), and if you’re flying multiple flags such as a state flag or a POW/MIA flag, make sure the American flag goes up first.
DON’T: Drape the American Flag
Don’t use the flag to cover anything; it’s not a car cover. If you don’t have a flag pole, the flag can be displayed vertically with the Union (the blue section) in the upper left hand corner. And if the flag in question appears worn out or frayed, it’s acceptable to retire the old flag in a dignified and ceremonious fashion such as a respectful burning.
DO: Get Out and Participate
Fireworks tend to be a given in most communities, but they’re not the only activities synonymous with Independence Day. Look to see about parades, shows, fairs, or other celebrations happening that day. Nothing serves as a better symbol of America than getting out and spending with the people who make this country great.
DON’T: Wing It
That is, don’t forget to make plans. Depending on where you live, traffic may be crazy, stores may be slammed, restaurants may be shorthanded, and parking may be limited. Check to see what’s happening and plan accordingly. And no matter what you decide on, remember to bring water, sunscreen, hats, and any other supplies needed for outdoor summer activities.
DO: See the Fireworks
Like the man said, “Celebrate the independence of your country by blowing up a small portion of it.” And if you can’t find someplace to watch the fireworks, consider watching them on television or purchasing some and doing your own explosive celebration. And if you choose to do so, be responsible and take the appropriate safety precautions like wearing shoes, having a fire extinguisher handy, and definitely NOT aiming the big fireworks at your neighbor’s house even though the guy never cleans up after his dog.
DON’T: Get Carried Away
In addition to not burning down the neighborhood in a show of patriotic excess, remember to reign in
the wilder impulses brought on by the Fourth of July. Wearing patriotic colors to a community picnic?
Great idea. Showing up to the party in American Flag pants, shirts, bandannas, socks, and a hat? Tone it
down. Dressing up as a founding father because you’re in the big parade? Go for it. Dressing up as a
founding father while watching the parade? Hope it isn’t too hot; those wigs can be uncomfortable.