ARVN, RVN, and Flags

Flag of the Republic of Vietnam
I'm told there was some controversy at the last city council meeting about the proper way to display the American flag, along with the flag of the (former) Republic of Vietnam (RVN). Again. This same issue came up several years ago, when certain intolerant individuals took exception to displaying the "Vietnamese Freedom Flag" along with the U.S. national flag in Rosemead.

The more things change, the more things stay the same. Two years ago, I thought displaying the flag of the former Republic of Vietnam was a great way to show respect for Vietnam War veterans, both those who served in the U.S. armed force and those that served in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). I stand by that.

My description of proper flag etiquette I wrote back then is also still correct: When the U.S. flag is displayed along with another national flag, both should be displayed at the same height, with the U.S. flag to the viewer's left.

No flag (national or otherwise) should ever be displayed higher than the U.S. national flag, but other national flags should not be displayed lower than the U.S. flag, either.

The city of Rosemead HAS violated proper flag etiquette in the past. At our city Memorial Day and Veterans Day observations, I've noticed Rosemead often places the U.S. flag at half-staff (appropriate), but does not place the other flags (state of California and POW/MIA flag) at their appropriate half-staff heights. That creates a display with the California and POW/MIA flags flanking the U.S. national flag, and flying higher than the U.S. national flag. That's incorrect.