Rep. Barbara Comstock has apparently violated federal law governing use of the American flag. She is attaching her political advertising to cheap plastic flags and leaving them curbside across Northern Virginia neighborhoods.
Respect for the flag runs deep in Virginia, so complaints surfaced quickly on social media as residents traded photos and angry comments.
Federal law governs display and care of the American flag. Comstock’s misuse runs afoul of two different federal rules: one rule against any advertising on the flag or its staff, and another governing proper display. See below for details.
In addition to concerns about Comstock’s disrespect for the flag, residents expressed unhappiness that Comstock displayed her campaign signs on their property without permission.
Comstock’s breach of common courtesy clearly touched a nerve.
If someone plants a #TrumpRussia yard sign in Barbara Comstock’s lawn without permission, she’ll be angry.
So why must we let Comstock plant her political signs on OUR property?
Barbara Comstock is not relieved of her responsibility to comply with federal law and the rules of common courtesy simply because she is a member of Congress. Rep. Comstock should be held to the highest standard.
Respect for the flag is a key American tradition. So is common courtesy.
Unless you are Barbara Comstock, perhaps.
Make a mental note.
**The United States Flag Code establishes advisory rules for display and care of the national flag of the United States of America.
- *Federal law prohibits attaching “any advertisement of any nature” to the flag of the United States. (4 U.S.C. Sections 3 and 8i )
- Residents noted that Comstock’s cheap flags fade quickly and end up littering the neighborhood, which is also a violation: “The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.” (4 U.S.C. Section 8e)