News and Articles

June 2006
The Daily Home Talladega, Sylacauga-Pell City, Alabama

Dear Millie,

Please clear up this up for me - should one call the host and ask permission before bringing extra guests if you receive unexpected visitors on the date of a function to which you were invited?

Whether it is a wedding, dinner party, or gala, the invitation is extended to the person the host wishes to invite and no one else. These following notes may help you in this dilemma:

  • Dates - Some invitations indicate that you may bring a guest or date. Mr. John or Joan Smith and Guest. It is necessary when you reply to indicate if you will be bringing a guest and you may at that time give the name of the guest.
  • Children - Children may attend only if they were included on the invitation.
  • Houseguest - If you happen to have an unexpected houseguest it is best to decline the invitation stating the reason. This will then give the host the option to extend the invitation to include the guests.

Dear Millie,

I see many men and women wearing flag pins. What is the correct way to wear the pin?

The United States flag lapel pin is to be worn on the left lapel.

I don't want to miss a chance to remind everyone of flag etiquette with Memorial Day, Election Day, and Flag Day on June 14th and the Fourth of July, all rapidly approaching.

  • On Memorial Day, the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff until sunset.
  • Half-staff - To fly a flag at half-staff, the flag is hoisted to the top of the flag pole for a moment and then lowered to the half-staff position. When retiring the flag for the day, it should be raised again to the top and then lowered for the day.
  • Saluting the Flag - When the flag passes by in a parade, women and men should stand quietly, with hands at their sides, or if wearing hats remove them and hold them in their right hands over their hearts.
  • National Anthem - If you are at a sports event and making your way to your seat, stop when you hear the first notes of "Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light," stand at attention, salute at the first note, and hold the salute through the last note.

The above are from the Flag Code, which gives us guidelines and unifies the traditional ways we show respect to the flag. It also serves to give specific instructions on how the flag is to be used.

Dear Millie,

I often work out at the gym, and I am surprised that people are not considerate of others when using the machines. Are there manners and etiquette rules for the gym?

Manners and Etiquette are everywhere we go. In the gym, the number of people that are exercising daily should be aware and considerate of others when there are a limited number of machines. When there are few machines available, out of consideration for others, limit your time on the treadmill or cardio machine to 20 or 30 minutes.

Your health club or gym has posted signs of rules and the number one of etiquette is to remove any perspiration you leave on exercise machines. Carry a towel to swab the mats and machines. How unpleasant it is for another health enthusiast to clean the grips or other parts of the machine upon which you have perspired.

The main rule is to be considerate of others and the machines.

Millie Chastain, Director of The Protocol School of Alabama. Questions on etiquette are appreciated and may be sent to Millie Chastain at 812 Chastain Road, Talladega, Alabama, 35160 or e-mailed to Summer programs: Everyday Etiquette for Children, Talladega, June 5-8; Jacksonville State University, July 10 - 13; Everyday Etiquette for Teens, July 17 - 20; and Everyday Etiquette for Children, Summer Odyssey 2006, Donoho School July 10 - 14.