On Monday, more patriotic displays of American flags will fly at homes, businesses and beyond.

Impressive displays of American flags have become a staple each Memorial Day, to include waves of flags at cemeteries.

When it comes to displaying the Stars and Stripes, perhaps no day is as meaningful as Memorial Day, the national holiday honoring United States troops who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

While many people will fly the American flag at home as part of their Memorial Day tribute, too many err by displaying dirty, worn or tattered flags.

It is acceptable to clean or repair an American flag. According to the Flag Code, any flag that is worn or damaged beyond repair should be retired in a respectful and dignified manner. The local American Legion will help residents with the proper disposal of their American flags.

The American Legion also recommends that the flag be flown every day (weather permitting), and points to the following special days in particular:

* New Year's Day.

* Inauguration Day, Jan. 20.

* Martin Luther King Jr. birthday, third Monday in January.

* Lincoln's birthday, Feb. 12.

* Washington's birthday, third Monday in February.

* Easter Sunday, (date varies).

* Mother's Day, second Sunday in May.

* Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May.

* Memorial Day, last Monday in May.

* Flag Day, June 14.

* Independence Day, July 4.

* National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, July 27.

* Labor Day, first Monday in September.

* Columbus Day, second Monday in October.

* Navy Day, Oct. 27.

* Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

* Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November.

* Christmas Day.

* Other days as proclaimed by the president of the United States.

* Birthdays of states (date of statehood; Jan. 29 in Kansas).

* State holidays.

And, there are specific guidelines for flying Old Glory on Memorial Day. The flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff until sunset.

The American Legion Web site, legion.org, outlines more specifics of the Flag Code, which includes a surprising number of details all in place to ensure that the American flag, a symbol of our nation's strength and unity, receives the respect it deserves.

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The peony plant may be best known for decorating grave sites.

This year, the annual bloom of the peonies has been as spectacular as ever.

Peonies bursting with pink, white and magenta flowers dot Valley View Cemetery in Garden City. Known to bloom in late May or early June, the peonies often make an impressive statement on Memorial Day.

Those who attend Monday's Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. at Valley View Cemetery, or who plan to visit graves at other times in the near future should be impressed by the peonies' spectacular, spring-only event.

While the sizable peony blooms last just a short time on the plant, they can be preserved by those who grow them. Garden experts say they can be cut at bud stage and refrigerated for several weeks, with the stems taken out and put in water for display when desired. They also make great dried flowers.

Preserving such beauty would be more than worth the extra effort.

E-mail Editor-publisher Dena Sattler at denas@gctelegram.com.