I say tattered flags in Spring TX but these tattered flags probably also occur in Anywhere USA. I counted tattered flags on my way home from appointments the other day. Within about a 6 mile stretch of road I counted 6 tattered United States flags and that didn't even take in to account the tattered Texas flags.
Texas is a very patriotic state and we love flying our flags but I just think we need to be more respectful of their condition. The only flag that was not tattered in that stretch of road was the flag that flies in my own subdivision. I have to be honest on that one though. A few years ago it was looking very sad and I called the President of our Association and asked her about getting a new flag. She was very apologetic and a new flag appeared very shortly after my phone call.
I don't think people fly tattered flags up on purpose. I think what happens is they don't notice that their flag has become tattered. I have been guilty of that myself. I did not spend much on our previous flag and you know the old saying "you get what you pay for"; that holds true with flags also. When I noticed our flag was looking sad I decided to buy a decent flagl
I found information about flag etiquette on the National Flag Foundation Website.
"The U.S. Flag should always be treated with the utmost care and respect. Remember, the flag represents a living country and, as such, is considered a living symbol.
Always display the flag with the blue union field up -- never display the flag upside down, except as a signal of extreme distress. If upside down, this should be only in extreme distress.
Always carry the flag aloft and free -- never carry it flat or horizontally in processions or parades. The exception to this is carrying very large flags in a parade that are too big to be flown from a staff or pole.
Always keep the flag clean. Keep it safe from those who would not respect it, or do not know enough to do so, such as young children.
The flag is a symbol of us all -- of all America. It is not a political symbol. It is a symbol that each American should respect, for it represents the honor, courage and sacrifice of those who struggled to preserve the ideals upon which our country was founded: Freedom, justice and opportunity for all. Contrary to other flags of the world, the U.S. Flag is the flag of the citizens - the people of all ages that make and keep America a stronghold and example of freedom."
There are also certain ways to dispose of a flag. This is again from the National Flag foundation website.
"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. (The United States Flag Code)
In many American communities, one or more organizations render an important community service by collecting and overseeing the proper disposal of old, worn, tattered, frayed and/or faded U.S. Flags.
For information in your community try the Boy Scouts of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, or the American Legion. If they provide a flag retirement service the flag can be dropped off and they will take care of the ceremony."
In our community the boy scouts have flag burning ceremonies to dispose of our old flags. As a service to the community you can drop your old flag off at flag store; United Flag and Banner. They collect the flags and then give them to the boy scouts to dispose of in a flag burning ceremony.
We started flying a United States Flag during the first gulf war and have flown one ever since. Little did I know that during the next war in the Middle East I would have a son serving in the Army. Our son is presently in Iraq for his second tour and I do think that has made me more mindful of what our flag stands for and how we should respect it. Freedom is not FREE!!