Action Line Q&A
Question: As a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant, I find that the lack of training displayed by the 388th Fighter Wing headquarters staff when displaying the flag I spent 25 years defending, deplorable. On this particular occasion the nation's symbol was flown at half-staff to honor the late Sen. Byrd from West Virginia, which is right and proper, however the U.S. Air Force flag was also flown at the same height. On a past occasion I witnessed the Grand Old Flag flying at half-staff to honor a fallen Utah soldier, and the U.S. Air Force flag was flown at full staff. If the personnel cannot get the protocol correct, maybe they should remove the flagpole for the U.S. Air Force flag. These are only two cases in point. I have visited and called the HQ building to correct these numerous errors. However, nothing seems to drive the point home, nor are corrections made to preclude repetition. I will not put up with dishonoring the flag, especially on a military installation.
Answer: We appreciate Team Hill members addressing their concerns and are glad to hear of their commitment and passion for properly displaying our nation's flag. Be assured that we are very much aware of the proper protocol when displaying the U.S. flag along with the U.S. Air Force flag. Often, it's a matter of perception as to whether or not the U.S. flag is slightly higher than the U.S. Air Force flag, but to remove any doubt, the 388th Fighter Wing will not display the U.S. Air Force flag when our nation's flag is flown at half-staff. Of course, if anyone ever notices a potential flag protocol discrepancy, we'd welcome a Wingman to fix it on the spot -- the ropes aren't locked and can be adjusted by any well-meaning Wingman. And, if necessary, you can always contact the 388th Fighter Wing commander via the Hill Consolidated Command Post at (801) 777-3881. Thank you. -- Chief Master Sgt. Atticus Smith, 388th FW, Command Chief