October is not a big month for dates to fly the U.S. flag. Only one state joined the union in October, and only two other dates received Congress’s designation for flag-flying.
Here are October’s three flag-flying days, in chronological order:
- Columbus Day, October 8 — tradition puts Columbus Day on October 12, but in law it is designated as the second Monday in October (to make a three-day weekend for workers who get a holiday); in 2017, October 8 is the second Monday of the month.
- Navy Day, October 27
- Nevada Statehood Day, October 31; Nevada joined the union during the Civil War, in 1864, the 36th state.
Federal law also designates October 9 as Leif Erickson Day, a concession to Scandanavian-descended Americans who argue Erickson beat Columbus to the Americas by a few hundred years. Congress’s recognition does not include an urging to fly the flag, though the President may issue such a proclamation.
The photograph by Senior Airman Dennis Sloan, above, may suggest a suitably spooky theme for flying Old Glory on Halloween. While you are free to fly your flag on any day, Halloween, a religious or holy day for Christians, Celts and perhaps a few others, is not designated by Congress as a day to fly the flag. If you fly it at night, it must be lighted, as is the flag in the photograph.
Other notable stuff:
- President Obama’s proclamation, October is National Energy Action Month
- October is National Disability Employment Month
- October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Week ending October 8 is National Community Policing Week
- October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- October is National Youth Justice Awareness Month
- October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
- October is National Youth Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder Prevention Awareness Month
- How to fly the U.S. flag (Mental Floss)
- “Guidelines to Display the U.S. Flag,” at the website of the American Legion, carrying a note they came from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Congress’s flag etiquette guide, “Our Flag”
- A few rules from the Boy Scouts of America guide on flag etiquette