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Posted by Charlie @ Sterling Investigations on June 06, 1997 at 10:43:39:

In Reply to: Re: Admiralty Flag. Help! posted by Common Right Group at San Diego county on June 06, 1997 at 01:22:16:

: Charlie,
: Thought we answered this before, but maybe not. Check 4 USCA(annotated by Wests), Sect. 1, footnote 1. It tells all that is needed to know about it.
: Also check U.S. Army Regs 840-10. Both describe the flag as being red, white and blue, with "horizontal" stripes..... and having a hoist vs. fly ratio of 1.0 X 1.9. Now, go measure the hoist:fly of any flag you can buy at the local Hallmark Store or K-Mart. The fringe is far from the only thing at issue here!
: Also, turn on your C-Span channel and look at the flag behind the Pres. of the Senate of the Speaker of the House. Uh-Oh! Who's the wiseacre that put those verticle stripes on the 4 USC 1 flag, or is that maybe NOT a 4 USC 1 flag when so displayed? Check US Army Regs 860-10 for more info. Somewhere in the reference to USAR 840-10 is a bit on desecration of the flag.
: The finial on the top of the flag standard has a higher station than the flag, and even nullifies the flag itself. The Presidential Eagle or the Courts Martial Spear, etc. Like we said, the fringe is only an opening shot.
: Hope this helps ya.

Thanks for the answer. About the "horizontal" stripes. Were you implying that the flag should not be flown, or hung, hanging down from the field end?

Also, without looking or measuring, I can guess that most flags manufactured are much shorter than the 1.9 part of the ratio. For example; a ten-inch-high flag would be thirteen inches long (fly), but most are much shorter. Or to take a real-life example. I have here on my desk a small flag which I have taken off of my wall. It is about 7 inches wide (hoist), which would mean that it should be 13.3 inches long (7 x 1.9), when in fact it is only about 10 inches long (fly). That gives this flag an illegal ratio of approximately 1 to 1.4285714... And from the looks of it, I would say that most flags I see have this ratio, or something close to it. The true flag is really much longer and thinner than the ones we generally see for sale. Am I on the right track? If so, I'm heading down to the courthouse to measure the flags there.

About the finials. Is it simply the absence in the USC of a reference to a finial that makes them illegal? For example, "The finial shall be not more than..." would be a way for the law to show HOW a finial should be used. But without looking, I imagine that the law says that nothing should be above the flag. Am I right?

Looking now at the USC, I see that in Title 4, Chapter 1, there is a chart with dimensions of flags authorized for executive agencies. There are a couple in the chart (#'s 4, 6, 8 & 11) which are far from 1 x 1.9. In fact, numbers 8 & 9 have the same hoist, but different flys! But it would be my guess that this is moot, because the courts are not executive agencies, and so should be flying the 1 x 1.9 flag described later on.

Here are a couple quotes that I got out of the USC supplement to Title 4:

"Claim that federal district court lacks jurisdiction because its flag has yellow fringe on it is not only without merit, but totally frivolous; it has no arguable basis in law or fact."
Vella v McCammon (1987, SD Tex) 671 F Supp 1128

"There is no merit to contention that gold fringe adorning American flag displayed in disrict justice's courtroom conferred admiralty/maritime jurisdiction."
Commonwealth v Appel (1994) 438 Pa Super 214, 652 A2d 341

What do you make of this?

Lastly, where can I find refernce to "the Presidential Eagle" and the "Courts MArtial Spear"?



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