No symbol better signifies our nation’s greatness than our American flag—the Stars and Stripes. The Proudly We Hail program encourages regular display of the flag by individuals, commercial establishments and industries. To honor them a specially designed plaque is presented at a club meeting. Every club member can participate in the program because it is the individual member who watches for and nominates potential recipients. This outstanding program promotes Americanism as well as community recognition by the sponsoring Exchange Club.
No symbol inspires respect and love of country more than our American flag — the Stars and Stripes. That is why Exchange encourages all Americans to properly fly the flag as an ongoing, highly visible expression of that respect through the Proudly We Hail program.
Proudly We Hail honors those Americans who do display the nation’s banner properly and regularly. Recognition is in the form of a beautiful plaque specially designed for this purpose.
First, a club must decide to adopt the program. Once this is done, one member is appointed chairperson of the Proudly We Hail selection committee and each and every member of the club is made a committee member. As committee members, Exchangites, during their travels throughout the community, keep a sharp eye out for residences and office buildings where the American flag is regularly flown. Then, record the name and address of the candidate and check to see if the flag is indeed flown every day. When this is established, the name is submitted to the committee chairperson. Each month, one or more candidates are invited to a regular meeting of the club where they are ceremoniously presented with a plaque to display in their home or office.
Proudly We Hail is easy and effective. It represents a splendid way for every Exchange Club to actively support Exchange’s ongoing effort to encourage and promote American citizenship. And it provides a program in which every member is an active participant. Moreover, the program benefits both the community and the nation by enhancing and strengthening a national sense of patriotism and pride.
AN ONGOING ACTIVITY
The success of the program depends on two factors — a commitment by the club to regularly present Proudly We Hail awards — and a vigorous effort to publicize these awards. Publicizing the awards not only brings additional honor to the recipients and provides examples for others to emulate, but it is also good publicity for local clubs and the National Exchange Club as a whole.
All of the presentations should be photographed so that pictures are available for local newspapers and television stations. In addition, news releases should be prepared for radio stations and other media in the area. See the Public Relations Resource, available from your National Headquarters, for news release, proclamation and public service announcement samples. The photographs can also be used in a variety of other ways to help promote the program. For instance, they can be displayed in a public building or in the window of a cooperating merchant to give the program additional visibility. The club can also construct a display for use at local fairs or other community events.
Proudly We Hail plaques may be purchased through the Supply Department at National Headquarters (800-XCHANGE). Below is an excerpt from the One Nation Under God flag brochure, which gives facts and tips about the American flag.
RESPECT FOR YOUR FLAG
It is customary to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs, except during inclement weather. It may be displayed at night to produce a patriotic effect if proper lighting is provided.
Weather permitting, display the flag every day. Always hoist the flag briskly, and lower it ceremoniously. Flags should always be flown on national and state holidays and other days proclaimed by the United States President. When handling the flag:
- Never show disrespect to the flag.
- Never dip the flag to any person or thing.
- Never display the flag with the union down except as a signal of dire distress.
- Never allow the flag to touch anything beneath it.
- Never carry the flag horizontally.
- Never use the flag as drapery nor to receive, hold, carry or deliver anything.
- Never place anything on the flag nor attach any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing to it.
- Never embroider the flag on cushions, handkerchiefs and the like, nor should one print it on objects intended for temporary use and then discarded.
- Never throw away a flag. Badly worn flags should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by private burning.