WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Lots of fans sported red, white and blue to support America on Thursday during the World Cup, but some outfits may have crossed the line. There are lots of photos on Twitter and Facebook of U.S. fans wearing the American flag like a cape or draping it in other ways. Some may argue this is patriotic, but to many it's disrespectful.
Vietnam veteran Walter Emery said wearing the flag like a cape is not an appropriate way to display it. He said the flag should never be tied in a knot. He called the flag "alive" and said it means a lot to those who fight for it.
"You will find that they hang in there for the flag, I mean, that's it. They feel like they're fighting for the American flag and the Americans and that's what they're there for," Emery said.
Teenage Marine Corps recruits in Winston-Salem said they're on the same page as Emery. Several said the American flag means more to them now that they're in the military because they have a better understanding of what our service members go through to protect the country. They said a lot of the younger generation just doesn't understand.
"It makes me disappointed, but I know it's ignorance because I feel like our younger generation we aren't educated like how we were back then about how like pride in our flag, pride in our country," Marine Corps recruit An Bunjang, said.
There are numerous guidelines for how to properly display a flag. Here's are some examples -- The flag should never be carried flat or horizontal. The flag should only be flown upside down during times of distress. The flag should never touch anything beneath it like the ground, floor or a body of water.
"To me it's an individual's responsibility to know what his flag is supposed to be and how it's supposed to be displayed," Emery said. "It has a history. It has a life."
To read more about how to respectfully display and handle an American flag, you can check out the United States Flag Manual by clicking here.