National Medal of Honor Day
The Medal of Honor is a U.S. military decoration awarded to armed forces personnel who have distinguished themselves in actual combat by acts of valor. It is presented to recipients by the President of the United States and awarded in the name of the United States Congress.
The Medal of Honor was established on July 13, 1862, and National Medal of Honor Day is observed on March 25 each year.
What began as a star-shaped medal with "personal valor" inscribed upon the back that was awarded to soldiers and petty officers during the American Civil War, has evolved into the Medal of Honor in three distinct variants that we know of today. As of this writing, the United States has awarded just over 3,500 Medals of Honor to members of our armed forces.
Abraham Lincoln's Legacy
Lincoln's influence on the modern Medal of Honor was as a figure of formality, but important nonetheless. The first Medals of Honor were minted at his co-urging, and the bill that passed formalizing the creation of the medals on a more far-reaching basis received his hasty signature. Those medals, generated and dispensed in the 1860s, are the precursors to the medals we have used to recognize our armed personnel in all the time since.
Today, there are three distinct variants of the Medal of Honor —
- Department of the Army, awarded to soldiers
- Department of the Navy, awarded to sailors, marines, and coast guardsmen
- Department of the Air Force, awarded to airmen and Space Force guardians
Thanks to Our Military Personnel
While they are deserving of our appreciation every day of the year, March 25 each year is National Medal of Honor Day, a friendly signpost reminding us to give thanks to the people who give some measure of their own existence as a sacrifice that wards off aggression around the world. From our hearts, thank you to all of those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Flying the U.S. Armed Forces Flags Outdoors
The Department of Defense Directive 1005.8 asserts the order of precedence of military personnel, which we can safely assume mirrors that of military flags on an Outdoor Flagpole. That order is as follows: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. However, the Coast Guard Flag moves up right behind Navy when the Coast Guard operates as a service of the Department of the Navy during a time of war. As of this writing, the D.O.D. Directive has not been updated to include the Space Force flag (current as of 2003.
The recent addition of the Space Force flag has, therefore, generated some confusion. Most visible examples show the Space Force flag placed between the Air Force and Coast Guard flags. However, though it meets with historic precedent and follows the same guiding reasoning, this precedence has not been documented in writing that we have found.
In a mandatory directive from the Secretary of The Air Force (downloadable here) in August of 2020, the Space Force flag is ordered to be flown in the sixth position, after the Coast Guard flag (as pictured throughout our website).
When the flags are being flown on multiple Outdoor Flagpoles, the American Flag should always be flown first in line. If you are flying a military flag on the same pole as your American Flag, it should be of equal size or smaller and flown below the American Flag.
Displaying American Military Flags Indoors
When displaying Military Ceremonial Flags, the order of precedence remains the same as when they are displayed outdoors. The American Ceremonial Flag is always displayed first in the order. It’s also important to remember that when a Military Ceremonial flag is presented by a color guard, either indoors, during a parade, or on the playing field, a Parade Carry Belt must be worn.
Military Desk Flags and sets are another way to show your support for U.S. Armed Forces. Desk flags are small and versatile; they can be displayed on a podium, a desk, or even a window sill. These small flags can also be waved during a parade or other celebration.
How Do You Celebrate America's Armed Forces Personnel?
Send us your pictures of Medals of Honor and recipients, American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.
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Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.