Local Veteran Discusses Appropriate Ways to Wear the American Flag

RAINELLE, W.Va (WOAY) –  Navy Veteran Kelly Goddard wants all those celebrating the Fourth of July to have fun and show off their patriotism but do so in a respectful way. 

“You shouldn’t wear the flag in any way. For example, you shouldn’t cut a hole in the flag and use it as a poncho. You shouldn’t drape it around your neck and use it as a cape,” Goddard said.

But he says there are correct ways to wear the flag. 

“Now it’s permissible to use the American flag. For example, this Navy shirt that I have on, if it had an American flag there, that’s permissible. A tie with a flag on it, that’s permissible. Pins, lapel pins, those type of items are okay, as long as it’s showing respect to the flag,” he said. 

When it comes to shirts with the flag on it, Goddard says as long as there are not inappropriate words or symbols on the shirt, it should be okay. 

“In the federal code there’s nothing that specifies what you can do as far as wear it. I’m a member of the VFW and in our store in Kansas City, we sell all kinds of apparel that’s got the American flag on it. But it’s not disgraceful or degrading in any way,” Goddard said. 

What Goddard wants everyone to remember most, however, is the people like himself who put their lives on the line for this country. 

“Thank these men and women that’s defending our gates of freedom right now,” he said.  

If you want to know more about what the federal code says about wearing and handling the flag, click here.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.