The day before my house burned down, I was thinking about flags. It was the end of June, and we were in the midst of painting our home's exterior. The front and back and one side were finished, and I was closing in on the fourth. It looked so fresh and bright, and I couldn't wait to fly a flag or two, or 20, for the upcoming Independence Day. I was debating what would look best, but the fire took care of all that.

We moved back into our new house almost a year to the day after the fire, yet again right before the Fourth of July. I was so exhausted that flags were the last thing on my mind, but one more year after that, I couldn't wait. I'd always loved the look of flags, but now it was a way for me to make a tangible declaration that our family was home and "still there."

After great deliberation I decided to hang a 3- by 6-foot pleated fan above our front porch and to line the walkway with 12- by 18-inch flags on sticks. I figured I needed about 10 but was able to find only eight. This is what it looked like last Memorial Day, and I thought it was a great start. For the Fourth of July, I bought a few more to fill in the walkway and realized I had enough to go down one side of the drive, and then I bought a slew more to line both. We had our annual Fourth of July party, and the flags looked so beautiful and festive that I was sad to pack them away. I pulled them out for the election in November and planned to one last time do it for Veteran's Day, but a friend asked if she could borrow them to welcome her son home from Afghanistan, and I was more than happy to share.

Whether you are hanging a flag to commemorate or to celebrate, here are few rules of flag etiquette and some style considerations.

Read more on >>