(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala --The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing, according to the official Flag Code.

On June 14, 1885, Wisconsin school teacher Bernard Cigrand originated the idea for an annual observance to be celebrated across the country. He lobbied year after year in an attempt to have an official National Flag Day established by the United States government.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14 as Flag Day. In 1937, Pennsylvania was the first state to observe the day as a legal holiday. It wasn’t until August 3, 1949, that Congress designated June 14 as National Flag Day, which is celebrated in correlation with the U.S. Army’s birthday.

Though not an official holiday across the spectrum, Flag day is important on many different levels.

“Flag day is an honor and tradition that displays the national flag with pride and happiness,’ said Anniston Army Depot Sgt. Maj. Happiness Brown. “It is an annual observance which reminds us of the dedication and sacrifices made by our military service members. It’s also a time to pray for our troops, those at home and abroad.”

Flag Day is often celebrated with parades, visiting cemeteries, ceremonies and more. And there is flag etiquette.

The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

Many veteran service organizations use Flag Day to properly retire and dispose of old or worn American flags. In order to follow official Flag Code etiquette for retiring and disposing of an American flag, the flag must go through a ceremony followed by the burning of the flag. According to a resolution by The American Legion in 1937, the approved method of disposing of unserviceable flags has long been they be destroyed by burning.

At Anniston Army Depot, the American flag is displayed on the flag pole in front of the Headquarters building. Per U.S. Army Regulation 840-10, Chapter Two, Section Two, only one flag of the United States will be flown at one time at any continental United States Army installation, except as authorized by the installation commander.

Raising the flag is referred to as reveille and lowering the flag is known to as retreat. Army Regulation 600-25 states, “civilians and soldiers not in uniform will stand at attention, face the flag or music and place their hands over their hearts when reveille and retreat occurs.”

According to Capt. Kevin Briley, supervisory security guard in the depot’s Directorate of Emergency Services, reveille is completed by third shift security guards at 6 a.m. and retreat is concluded by second shift security guards at 5p.m. These duties are performed daily.