GEORGIA — During normal Memorial Day weekends, parades and ceremonies would bring Georgians together to honor those who have lost their lives in service to our country.
To be sure, we will lay patriotic-themed wreaths or bouquets of peonies on the headstones of military veterans and others we hold dear. But like almost everything else in Georgia, the coronavirus has upended this somber annual tradition.
The state flag of Georgia may be flown at half-staff as ordered by the governor. Days when the flag is flown at half-staff each year include Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15), Memorial Day weekend (the last weekend in May) and Patriot Day (September 11).
The state was a Pledge of Allegiance to the Georgia flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Georgia flag and to the principles for which it stands: Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.”
Regulations for the U.S. flag are generally applied to the state flag. The positions of honor in a display of flags are:
- U.S. flag in the position of highest honor (the observer’s extreme left or the highest point in a grouping of flags)
- The flag or flags of other nations ranked in alphabetical order
- The Georgia flag
Observing proper etiquette is equally important at Memorial Day services at cemeteries and other venues. When the flag is hoisted:
- Spectators who aren’t in military uniform should face the flag, stand at attention and place their hands over their hearts.
- Those who are in uniform should give a proper military salute.
- A man who is not in uniform, but is wearing a hat, should remove it with his right hand and hold it at his left shoulder with his palm resting on his heart.
- Attendees who are not U.S. citizens should stand at attention.
- When the flag advances in a moving column, it is appropriate for all persons to salute it as it passes.