Defense Department Puts An End To Military Parachute Jumps With US Flags

 March 1, 2023

While ceremonies with horizontal flags may seem patriotic to some, the Defense Department (DOD) tells military personnel to stop jumping from planes with US flags in tow, such as on Nov. 6, 2022, when a U.S. Navy Leap Frog entered into MetLife Stadium, via parachute with the American flag behind him.

Further, the DOD reminded members of the military that although jumping out of a plane with a parachute and an American flag in tow, may seem patriotic to some, it is not acceptable. Adding that  uniformed military members are not allowed to participate in these activities.

In his memo of Feb. 10, from the DOD to the public affairs offices of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard, Chris Meagher, provided clarification on a policy requiring all uniformed service members to show proper respect to the U.S. flag while at community events. Meagher wrote in the memo-

"In recent years, many sponsors of sporting events have instituted a tradition of requesting uniformed military members to unfurl and hold giant, horizontal U.S. flags during events as an expression of patriotism and love of the country,"

-Chris Meagher, Memo From DOD To Public Affairs Offices Of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard

Highlighting other types of flag displays, the memo covers situations like, horizontal U.S. flags and parachute demonstration teams using large U.S. flags attached, to the jumper like military units marching in community parades while carrying large flags, resulting in the flag dragging on the ground when the jumper lands. The memo reads-

"While many, including military members, view these displays as inspiring and patriotic…uniformed service members may not participate directly in the unfurling, holding, and/or carrying of giant, horizontal U.S. flags that are not displayed during community outreach events,"… "Similarly, DoD jump teams may not incorporate the U.S. flag in their public demonstrations if the flag cannot be caught reliably and handled respectfully by ground personnel during landings."

-Chris Meagher, Memo From DOD To Public Affairs Offices Of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard

Apparently, an American flag covering the field before an NFL game, between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants in Philadelphia was out of order. The exception of course, to displaying a flag horizontally is when the U.S. flag is used to cover a casket at a funeral, though it still cannot touch the ground.

Chris Meagher, who wrote the memo, added, that when it comes to the military supporting local community events involving the U.S. flag, commanders and public affairs advisors would consult their legal advisors for guidance concerning the Flag Code.

Meagher wrote-

"I encourage public affairs offices to work with sponsors of community events to develop other ways to showcase the patriotism and capabilities of our military that comply with DoD policy,"

-Chris Meagher, Memo From DOD To Public Affairs Offices Of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard

Formally adopted by Congress during World War II and Updated for the Bicentennial in 1976, this Flag Code has been reviewed and policies have been adopted by the U.S. military. These policies are in keeping with the formal code adopted by Congress.

All Americans should know and be respectful of this code. As determined by the DOD, military policies relating to the flag have been adopted to emphasize respect by U.S Armed forces personnel. Civilians, while not obligated to military policies, should still know and be respectful of the actual Flag Code.

Copyright 2024 Patriot Mom Digest