This Sue's News article was published in 2011:
Yesterday, in watching a politician deliver a speech, I could not help but notice that she had, very pretentiously, posed in front of a United States flag, when she delivered her speech via the internet. While the politician probably believed that the United States flag, positioned next to the fireplace of her home broadcast studio, made her somehow look presidential, anyone who knows flag etiquette, knows that it only demonstrated her ignorance. For one who constantly "waves the flag" and figuratively wraps herself in the flag, as a grand show of her patriotism, she should actually take time to learn about the flag. She is one who routinely brands as unpatriotic those with whom she disagrees.
The flag should have been placed to her right, not to her left.
The Flag Etiquette Guide (Flag Display FAQ) provided by the American Legion, clearly states:
"When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed in a church, public auditorium, or meeting place, the flag should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the speaker's right as he faces the audience."
Prior to the Flag Code changes in 1976, the display procedure was somewhat different. Now, the staffed flag should always be placed to the right of the speaker (observer's left) without regard to a platform or floor level.
My brothers and I are very strict in dealing with flags. I have set up meetings and events and have had to correct people a number of times about flag placement. I've been known to stop at the residences of strangers to inform them that flags were incorrectly displayed, or other problems. This past fall, on a windy day, I noticed that a flag pole was bent and the flag was touching the ground. I stopped and went to the door and a disabled veteran came to the door and I helped him to aright his flag.
I can recall in the 1970s when flag-burning was rampant, and although it was anathema to me personally, I defended the First Amendment right to do it. In a debate, I can recall that I said that I found it far more offensive that country and western singers wore costumes with flags on their butts. My brother said, "Nobody can destroy my flag because it's in here." as he touched his chest, all the while defending the First Amendment right of others to do as they believed.
I don't need to wear patriotic paraphernalia to proclaim--or advertise--my patriotism. I remember the silly controversy about candidates NOT wearing flag lapel pins. As Maya Angelou said: