Letters to the Editor

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With Memorial Day and the start of summer fast approaching, I would like to remind Alameda Sun readers about proper etiquette for honoring the United States flag. My father served as a Navy flight surgeon on Naval Air Station Alameda, and as a former Navy kid handling the flag was our patriotic honor. 

All Americans were expected to treat the American flag with all the dignity and caring the symbol of our great nation deserves.  I see the Stars and Stripes all around me. Very often, it’s hung incorrectly or displayed and handled in such a manner that goes against federal laws of flag etiquette. Needless to say, this ruffles my red, white and blue feathers, so hopefully this letter will reacquaint readers with proper care and handling the Stars and Stripes. 

The following was taken from www.usa-flag-site.org and outlines the general US flag etiquette:

The United States Civil Code stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette. The section of law dealing with American flag etiquette is generally referred to as the Flag Code. Some general guidelines from the Flag Code answer many of the most common questions:

• The flag should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union (field of blue) should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, which is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. 

• When raising the flag on Memorial Day, it must be raised briskly to full staff then slowly and ceremoniously lowered to half-staff in honor and remembrance of fallen soldiers.  

• The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.

• The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.

• The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.

• The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

• The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

• The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.

• The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.

• The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

• When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

• The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

• When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.


Dede Tabor


They had USAA rowing championships on Saturday and more than 100 people lined the fence at the Bridgeside Shopping Center. I was curious what audience would assemble if it got any media attention. The Olympic team practiced here all summer before the London Olympics and probably will do the same before Rio.

They are making a movie out of The Boys in the Boat book so they will most likely be shooting here eventually.

We have a unique situation in Alameda: the best vantage point for the Fruitvale Bridge finish line, with food nearby. No one was watching from the Oakland side.

We’re an island, we should take pride in water sports  and boating activities. There are hundreds of people using our marinas and waterways every weekend.  

Rowing is such an interesting and under-appreciated sport. If we educated the Alameda audience, and created some interest, we might become the rowing capital of California.


Susan Jeffries Fitzgerald

Having earned a journalism degree in Southern California, my first job after graduation was redesigning and overhauling a local newspaper, the Aliso Viejo News & Review in 1993. While I wasn’t directly responsible for profit and loss (publisher’s job, you know!), I was very cost conscious, knowing that our main competition came from the Irvine World News and Orange County Register and costs were always a factor in keeping our publication around. (“Local Newspaper a Costly Proposition,” May 5).

Our bread and butter, back in those days, was classifieds, but we also ran local interest stories in concert with our weekly calendar. I had more than my fair share of locals who could be quite demanding, but the minute they were asked if they’d like to give their products away for free, they usually clammed up.

I can appreciate the position you’re in, and am looking forward to being a regular reader when we make it back to the West Coast, relocating to one of the local marinas.

As for me, I made the transition out of publishing into the online world. I was one of those Dot Com guys who survived, and now do search engine optimization and marketing for large eTailers. If any of them asked me to do free work, I’d explain to them that business simply doesn’t work that way.

Keep up the good fight, and see you in a few months.


S/V Meridian Hilton Head Island, S.C.