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hoyt

Landing large American Flags

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Just tossing my 2 cents into the fray.

Just do your best to get the Flag off the dirt quickly if it is a large drop flag. If it is a canopy flag it most likely will be easily caught by no more than 2 people.

Just don't be the 2 who used to do the IRL Demo jumps and drag the Flag a hundred feet and leave to lay there while you high five each other. TRY to show due respect and make an effort till you get it picked up. I heard so many grumpy race fans and even the track promoters looked embarrassed.

Just try to keep it off the ground and if you miss get it picked up quickly, the crowd understands as long as you try!

Matt
An Instructors first concern is student safety.
So, start being safe, first!!!

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I understood the point, to which my response is:
Should I forego a display of my patriotism because an accident might occur?


Negative. But you should do everything you can to prevent that accident. What I am saying is you need to take all possible precautions to ensure the situation from happening.
The case of the kid running out onto the field obviously could not be planned for. The other posts saying they don't even try to catch the flag because of the heavy weight seem to me to be simply poor planning. I understand the need for the weight on a flag, but the planners really need to ask, "Do we really need a flag so big that it HAS TO HIT THE GROUND?"
That just seems to me to be disrespectful to put the want before the need to show proper respect.
Hell, I have a flag on the back of my bike. I could get in a wreck, dump the bike or whatever, but I am taking every precaution I can to fly that flag with the respect it deserves. When the flag gets too dirty from road gunk, I wash it. When it starts getting frayed, I replace it and strip and burn the old one as it should be.
Is everyone going to show the flag the respect it deserves? No. Am I, and many others, going to be vocal about disrespect to the flag. HELL YES!!!
"I'm not lost. I don't know where I'm going, but there's no sense in being late."
Mathew Quigley

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I understood the point, to which my response is:
Should I forego a display of my patriotism because an accident might occur?


Negative. But you should do everything you can to prevent that accident. What I am saying is you need to take all possible precautions to ensure the situation from happening.
The case of the kid running out onto the field obviously could not be planned for. The other posts saying they don't even try to catch the flag because of the heavy weight seem to me to be simply poor planning. I understand the need for the weight on a flag, but the planners really need to ask, "Do we really need a flag so big that it HAS TO HIT THE GROUND?"
That just seems to me to be disrespectful to put the want before the need to show proper respect.
Hell, I have a flag on the back of my bike. I could get in a wreck, dump the bike or whatever, but I am taking every precaution I can to fly that flag with the respect it deserves. When the flag gets too dirty from road gunk, I wash it. When it starts getting frayed, I replace it and strip and burn the old one as it should be.
Is everyone going to show the flag the respect it deserves? No. Am I, and many others, going to be vocal about disrespect to the flag. HELL YES!!!



Great post...

Is burning a flag that touched the ground the way to go?

Sould a burning ceremony be held at demos whenever the flag makes contact with the ground?
Mykel AFF-I10
Skydiving Priorities: 1) Open Canopy. 2) Land Safely. 3) Don’t hurt anyone. 4) Repeat…

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Is burning a flag that touched the ground the way to go?


According to the Flag Rules and Regulatons FAQ's, the answer is no.
Quoted from the website I cite above:

My flag touched the ground. Do I need to destroy it?

No. You should, of course, try to avoid having the flag touch the ground. But if it does, you should correct the situation immediately. If the flag has been dirtied, you should clean it by hand with a mild soap solution and dry it well before returning it to use.

Quote

Sould a burning ceremony be held at demos whenever the flag makes contact with the ground?


Again, it seems the answer is no.

Another quote from the website:

My flag is old and ready to be retired. What should I do?

Section 8k of the Flag Code (see below) states, "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." We recommend that you contact your local VFW Chapter and ask them for help properly disposing of your flag. And be sure to consider providing a small donation to them for their assistance. Or you can contact your local Elks Lodge (who created the idea of Flag Day, established officially by President Truman, himself a member of the Elks), the American Legion, or the Knights of Columbus. Some Boy Scout and Girl Scout troups also can provide this service.

A problem that has not been addressed yet involves nylon (all-weather) flags. In some states, it is illegal to burn nylon, so adhering to the Flag Code puts you in direct violation of the law. We will report on recommendations here in the future.
"I'm not lost. I don't know where I'm going, but there's no sense in being late."
Mathew Quigley

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OK, I would normally stay out of such things as I am not an arguing type of person, but when it comes to old glory I am just going to have to speak up and be heard. I think all that are here need to back up and realize that there is a happy medium that can be reached on this topic. But in my opinion that happy medium is a dead straight fine line. Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1 § 8. Respect for flag (j) states “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.” And this American believes that his living Flag should be given all the respect that one can give.

Now, about that dead straight fine line.

DSE
> Should I forego a display of my patriotism
>because an accident might occur?


Is you idea of an accident the thought that a child may run out in front of you and be in harms way, or even that at all your best planning you missed something that puts your own life, or health, in jeopardy, then absolutely not, be the patriot and get a pat on the back for it. Just make sure you do what you can to still respect the flag and let the crowd know that you tried. In my opinion, your course of action at this point should be 1) care for the kid, save his life or make sure he is ok afterward 2) same care for the skydiver 3) get the flag up and show some respect 4) explain the gravity (no pun intended) of what just happened, and apologize to the crowd.

Now, is your idea of an accident that at your skill level you may miss the ground crew just enough they can’t catch the flag, or that you only stood up 9 out of 10 of your practice flag jumps, which were hopefully not done with old glory herself, then you damn right. Stay your ass on the ground or let someone else handle old glory, simple as that. (DSE, I think the “I” in your question was meant as more of a generic “who ever” and that is exactly how my answer is directed, not trying to flame you)

When on the battle field and the flag bearer falls due to injury or death, the soldier behind him picks up the flag, which is now flat on the ground, and marches on. The first soldier may receive a metal but is defiantly not dishonorable. When the same flag bearer falls due to a lazy clumsy step into a gopher hole, and the flag hits the ground, the soldier behind him puts a foot up his ass. Which may be the first of many to come by the rest of his squad. Now before someone goes off, no flying a demo flag is not the same as being a soldier, and no I don’t think you should die doing it (read above). The point is that there is a medium, there is a legitimate time and place where things can not be avoided, and there is also a place and cause to be upset over.

Kallend,
Of all the posters on DZ.com, I have probably taken more away from your posts than any other. I site your web site to almost every coach student I work with, and have even written a couple papers and hand outs, mostly based on your work and credited as such, to give to them. But in this case you really need to rethink you wording, in my opinion of course. You can not expect to make such remarks as

>Good post. I've always wondered about the logic of
>not wanting a flag to touch the good earth of the
>nation it represents. I suppose logic doesn't enter
>into it.

Or reply to the comment

> The prohibition against the US flag touching the
> ground IS LAW:

With such sarcasm, although you are correct, by saying

> What is the penalty for dropping the flag on the
> ground, then?

And then not expect to be heckled as being disrespectful. If you do not understand why or how the act of letting the flag touch the ground derived into being a disrespectful act to our nation, then so be it. The fact is, it has derived that way, like so many other unexplained beliefs in any culture, and you live in this culture, so show some respect.

In Kallends defense, and with the respect I think he deserves on this forum, the first two words of his post were “Good post”. The post he was referring to was one by Zing along the lines of flying the stars and strips in a demo not being the best idea because of the very topic of this thread.

DSE,
You are another DZ.comer from which I have taken much, as I am a full time weekend vediot and coach and your wisdom in the video world can not be overlooked, but in regard to:

> no one intentionally drops the flag to the ground

You are way wrong. I have seen the American Flag, more than once, laying flat and bunched on the ground while some [email protected]#$% stows his lines and picks up his canopy and then says “Oh, its just a banner, its not a problem” Well it is a problem, and in that case I am sure you agree, my point is that it does happen.

>I could be wrong, but I'd bet a banner representing
>the flag would offend/upset some folks more than
>seeing the flag touch the ground.

I could also be wrong but I don’t think this would be a problem. There is a correct way to fly a banner, a true banner not the Flag called a banner. Red White and Blue banners are to be displayed Blue on top and Red on bottom, yada yada ya, I am calling from memory now but there is a place and reason to use such a banner. I think the original concept was to be used over a desk or table used to display other things, you know, a place where a flag should really not be used.

>many times the Star Spangled Banner is playing
> and/or people reciting the pledge as the flag
>comes in. It's not appropriate to recite the pledge
> nor play the national anthem when something
> other than the flag is flying in, is it?

Good point, and I believe that there may be a time and place for , I hate to say it but, a planed flag drop. If the situation is as described above, and the size of the crowd / viewing area dictates that a flag of such size that it can not be caught safely be used, there should be a way to handle this properly. Have the flag designated as a banner. I do not agree with this practice but in this case it gives the speaker, who is hopeful well prepared for the detailed speech he needs to give, something to tell the crowd. His speech should include the safety aspect of the event, I bet they don’t even know there is a weight there?? Then let the crowd see just how fast your ground crew gets the flag up, and folder properly, and placed wherever, with respect shown to it. And then, let the old man in the crowd, who fought for our freedom and who will never accept what you just did, hear your apology and thanks to him. I think this situation may be alright, but I highly respect the opinion of any one who disagrees.

As if this post is not long enough already, flying a Flag at my home is something I have longed to do for a very long time, but I still elect not to do so. I am not home enough to get it in from the rain or night fall with the respect that it deserves, so I don’t fly it. The Flag Code has been amended, in 1995 I think, to allow for an all weather flag to be flown with proper lighting 24/7/365 as a patriot act. However, the Code that I studied, and wrote a few papers on in school, stated that a light cast on the Flag was acceptable for flying it during the rain or darkness only for a special occasion. Since the revision I no longer get upset with people that fly a flag 24/7/365 as long as they do it properly, but I still can not bring myself to do it, out of RESPECT.

Disclaimer: please excuse my paraphrasing of the flag code. If I have misspoken, or if my memory fails me, please feel free to correct me. On the same note, if have taken any quote / partial quote, from any poster, out of context, please forgive me. I hate when people do that to me. Sorry about the length, if you made it this far I hope it was worth while.


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To all:

Please keep the thread on the original topic and control the "heat" in this room. Disagreement is healthy, mudslinging is not.

The original post obviously begets conversation about whether or not a particular flag should be kept from touching the ground, but please keep those conversations pointed toward the skydiving aspect of the topic, not the fundamental (moral, etc.) aspect. That conversation belongs in SC.

Thanks.
Arrive Safely

John

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To all:

Please keep the thread on the original topic and control the "heat" in this room. Disagreement is healthy, mudslinging is not.

The original post obviously begets conversation about whether or not a particular flag should be kept from touching the ground, but please keep those conversations pointed toward the skydiving aspect of the topic, not the fundamental (moral, etc.) aspect. That conversation belongs in SC.

Thanks.



Made a boatload of flag jumps this weekend, of the 800 sqft type.

Did we try to catch it...?
Yes.

Did a part of it touch the ground...?
Yup.

Was the crowd upset...?
Nope, it was members of the Air Force recovering it.


There is theory and there's practical application...;)










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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This guy landed the flag beautifully into the cradled arms of the National Guard, in front of nearly 70K people in the stadium while it was being simulcast to Iraq and Afghanistan. (Newspaper says 55k, promoters say 68K). He practiced with several jumps, as the landing area was tiny inside the stadium with all the staging, hanged lines, etc. It was my responsibility to work with the Guard as they caught the flag, and this thread was most helpful in working out exactly how to do this.
thanks, guys.
Incidentally, this is the same guy that some were pissing on over in Speakers Corner recently, because he's an Iraqi that is now a citizen of the USA, carrying a flag into one of the largest patriotic events in the country. The crowd went wild when he flew in. It was amazing to watch him float it for so long, until he'd drifted over the suspension lines at mid-field, and then drop in with grace.

[edited to fix link (thanks Dave)

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I've not seen as a big uproar with flags touching the ground on landing as the time the guy carrying the flag down had an sponsor's name on his canopy.



I still recall the uproar when the Knights hung Old Glory upside down at a demo once...:o;)










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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As a Marine we were taught that the ball on top of a flag pole was called a "TRUCK". It is said to contain a bullet and a match. The match is to burn the flag if it touched the ground, the bullet is to shoot the son-of-a-bitch that allowed it to touch the ground!!!



No wonder the other services call you jarheads.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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