A few days ago, I wrote about folding the U.S. flag, referencing the only sentence in the U.S. Flag Code about raising and lowering the American flag. For the ones that missed it, here it is:
The United States Flag Code, Section 6(b) says:
The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
Hoisting Briskly is easy. The definition of briskly is “quick and energetic.” That’s self-explanatory.
What about lowering the flag, though. “Lowered ceremoniously” is the phrase. It is normally said that the flag is lowered slowly, with reverence and that is the way most are preformed. Looking at definitions of ceremonious doesn’t support that, though.
Here a two:
- rigidly formal or bound by convention
- according to formal usage or prescribed procedures
These indicate that the lowering is more formal than the raising. Interesting, though, is the fact that “prescribed procedures” shows up in many dictionaries, yet the flag code doesn’t list any procedures for lowering the flag.
What’s all this mean? Slowly and with reverence is allowed, but so is example in this video. The word that captures it for me? Respect
Video is from a Cub Scout Adventure Camp July 2006