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5 things you shouldn't do to the American Flag

The Fourth of July is when the United States celebrates its independence. There are parades throughout Long Island and, of course, fireworks displays as well. Everywhere you turn, Americans will show their patriotism by sporting red, white and blue. There's nothing wrong with that. Others, will wear shirts that display the American flag. According to some, that's going too far. Enjoy our list of things you shouldn't do to the American flag.

Don't wear your colors

See Captain America at the 10th annual North
Photo Credit: Tara Conry

See Captain America at the 10th annual North Hempstead Freezin' for a Reason Polar Plunge dash in Port Washington on Saturday, March 1, 2014? Since he's dressed as a superhero, it might be alright, but generally speaking it's considered disrespectful to turn the American flag into a clothing pattern. Of course one trip to the beach or a clothing store is all you need to see this rule isn't taken very seriously.

Don't leave it out

A flag should not be out in the
Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

A flag should not be out in the rain unless it's an all-weather flag. Here, a lone American flag stands amid abandoned tents and campers in a pool of floodwaters at the Nickerson Beach campgrounds on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. It might have been left out in the rain.

Don't burn the flag, unless ...

While burning an American flag itself is not
Photo Credit: AP

While burning an American flag itself is not illegal in the United States, it's considered to be a great sign of disrespect. But here's an interesting nugget: Once a flag is no longer in a condition to properly represent the nation, it needs to be properly destroyed. One recommended way ... burning it. This flag blows in the wind on a cold winter day in Newstead, N.Y. on Feb. 13, 2012.

Stars to the left, please

Whenever the American flag hangs, whether it's horizontally
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Whenever the American flag hangs, whether it's horizontally or vertically, the union should be to the observer's left. In case you're not sure, the union is the blue area that includes 50 stars.

Rest in peace

When the flag is used to cover a
Photo Credit: Ed Betz

When the flag is used to cover a coffin, the union should be on the same side as the head and be positioned over the left shoulder. Here, flags are draped over the coffins of indigent military veterans who are being given a military funeral at Calverton National Cemetery on Jan. 8, 2011.

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