Does the Colorado IKEA store violate federal law with its display of the U.S. flag next to the Swedish flag? I thought about this question after attending a breakfast for the Denver Council of the Boy Scouts of America and watching their color guard present the flags during the opening ceremony.
The IKEA store, where I admit spending some money in the past, irritates me.
They are in Colorado because they bought a sign exemption permitting them to erect their standard, signature IKEA sign. That sign is a blight along the I-25 corridor. Not only is it too big and obtrusive, but if you’ve ever flown into or out of Centennial Airport the flag sticks out like Long’s Peak or other prominent Fourteeners (14′ers) along the Front Range.
Go to the Perfect Landing restaurant at Centennial Airport, grab a window table for the view of the mountains, and enjoy the IKEA sign instead!
The photograph above was pulled off the Internet and purports to show a Swedish household “proudly displaying the Swedish and American flags.” Note the Swedish flag, on Swedish soil, is above the U.S. flag. That is as it should be.
Now, note these photographs from the IKEA store.
Notice the flags, including the Colorado state flag, are exactly the same height and size.
According to the CRS Report for Congress, The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions, this display of the U.S. flag by IKEA, on an equal basis with the Swedish flag, is a violation of federal law:
The wording of § 7(g) is identical to that of the original Flag Code enacted in 1942.42 The second sentence of § 7(c) prohibiting flying international flags equal in height to the flag of the United States was not in the original Flag Code. This provision was added in 1953.43 The legislative history of this amendment clearly states that is purpose was to “make it an offense against the United States to display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal to, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any possession or territory thereof,….”44 The only exception recognized is at the headquarters of the United Nations.
Between the obnoxious sign, for a zoning exemption was granted, and the illegal display of the flag, I’m starting to get irritated at the ignorance of protocol, if not federal law, on the display of the American flag.
IKEA, what about it?