Fourth of July Flag Etiquette and a Fun Dessert

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Not long ago, I made a mistake of letting my American Flag touch a counter and drape over it.  That was the start of my quest to refresh my memory about flag etiquette and rules.

Here are some of the things I learned that might act as a refresher course for many of us – or provide a great discussion over dinner with the kids.

• The flag should always be displayed or flown so that the bottom does not touch the floor, table or anything beneath it.

• The flag is to be flown from sunrise to sunset on buildings, homes and flagpoles.  Once the sun goes down, the flag is to be taken indoors or illuminated by light.

• The flag is to be raised quickly and lowered ceremoniously.

• The flag should not be flown in inclement weather (unless it’s an all-weather flag.)

•  No other flag should be placed (or fly higher) that the US flag if flown together.

• Flags do wear out.  A worn out flag should never be thrown away.  They should be destroyed in a dignified manner.  Usually this is done in a burning ceremony.  Contact a local VFW or American Legion Club to see if they offer the services.

• When a flag passes you in a parade, men should remove their hats and everyone should place their right hand over their heart.

•  When a flag is hung on a wall or from a building, or placed behind a podium with the stars to the top left.

•  If there are going to be other flags present besides the US flag, they should be to the right of the US flag.  This is so that the US flag is the first one seen by the audience.

I remember being taught the rules of the flag in elementary school, but if your kid’s haven’t gotten that yet, it’s really fun to make this a fun learning quiz to see how much they know (and you too!)

And now for a Fourth of July dessert that’ll wow your family and friends.

These shots take a bit of effort but the result is well worth it for the wow factor.

4th of July Jello Firecracker Shots - from Kraft foods


1-1/3 cups boiling water, divided
1 package (3 oz.) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin
1 package (3 oz.) JELL-O Cherry Flavor Gelatin
1 envelope KNOX Unflavored Gelatin
1 cup milk, divided
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
20 maraschino cherries with stems, well drained, patted dry


1.  ADD 2/3 cup boiling water to berry gelatin mix in small bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Repeat with cherry gelatin mix. Cool.
2.  MEANWHILE, sprinkle unflavored gelatine over 1/4 cup milk in medium bowl; let stand 5 min. Bring remaining milk to boil in saucepan. Remove
from heat; stir in sugar and vanilla. Add to plain gelatine mixture; stir until gelatine is completely dissolved. Cool 10 min.
3.  SPOON berry gelatin into 20 (1-oz.) plastic shot glasses sprayed lightly with cooking spray, adding about 2 tsp. to each. Refrigerate 15 min. or
until set but not firm.
4. TOP with unflavored gelatine mixture, adding about 2 tsp. to each cup. Refrigerate 10 min. Insert cherry, stem end up, into white gelatine layer
in each cup. Refrigerate 2 min.
5. COVER with cherry gelatin, adding about 2 tsp. to each cup. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Remove from cups before serving.

Here are two fabulous “adult” versions!

Adults Only alcoholic Variation: Prepare as directed, reducing the boiling water to 1 cup and dissolving each of the berry and cherry gelatin mixes in 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir 1/4 cup vodka into each flavor of gelatin, then continue as directed.

Spiked Cherries Adults Only Variation: Place cherries in a glass jar. Add 1/2 cup vodka; cover with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate at least 2 hours; drain. Pat dry, then use as directed.

Enjoy everyone and have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Live and Learn.