Flag Observances for December
There are three flag observances for the month of December in the USA.
7 DEC: (Mon) Pearl Harbor Day
15 DEC: (Tue) Bill of Rights Day
25 DEC: (Fri) Christmas Day (Federal Holiday)
All days are full staff unless modified by proclamation.
Bill of Rights Day is 15 DEC 1791, the day the first ten amendments to the US Constitution were ratified. Rarely read in those is the preamble to the Bill of Rights in the original Joint Resolution by Congress.
“The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”
There were originally seventeen proposed amendments by the US House, of which the US Senate approved twelve to send to the states. Virginia was the last to approve the ten we know now.
An eleventh of the original (the XXVII Amendment), which prohibits Congress from raising its salary more than once in any two-year session, was not ratified until 5 May 1992, a record of over 202 years for any amendment.
A host of information about the Bill of Rights can be found at the Bill of Rights Institute, including its history and educational information for teachers (and others).
Addendum (6 Dec): The flag shall be placed at half-mast on all government buildings and grounds, and is encouraged for all businesses and homes, by proclamation of President Donald Trump, in respect to the lives lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December.
Mr. Trump’s proclamation may be read at the White House Website.
For flags which cannot be lowered, the American Legion recommends the following:
For those flags displayed on a gaff (such as a porch or boat) or a fixed staff (such as an office or a church), the American Legion recommends affixing a black ribbon to the peak of the flag, which should be the length of the flag and the width of one stripe.
For those flags displayed flat, such as a wall or over a street, the American Legion recommends affixing a black bow to the centre of the flag, or three black bows across the top.