Law:Division 3. Emblems And Decorations (California)

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Chapter 1. Emblems

Ca Codes (mvc:611-617) Military And Veterans Code Section 611-617



611. (a) "Flag," as used in this division, means the State Flag of California and the Flag of the United States, as defined in this section. (b) "State Flag of California" includes any flag, standard, color, or ensign authorized by the laws of this state, and every picture or representation thereof, of any size, made of any substance, or represented on any substance evidently purporting to be any such flag, standard, color, or ensign of this state, and every picture or representation which shows the design thereof. (c) "Flag of the United States" includes any flag, standard, colors, or ensign authorized by the laws of the United States or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America, or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, standards, colors, or ensign of the United States of America.


612. (a) The colors and standards carried by organizations of the National Guard or Naval Militia shall be those which are carried by similar organizations of the United States Army, Air Force, or Navy, except that the regimental or battalion colors or standards may show the state coat of arms, instead of the coat of arms of the United States. (b) The Adjutant General may, pursuant to rules and regulations adopted for the purpose, deliver to the members of the family of a deceased member of the National Guard or of the State Military Reserve the colors used during the disposition of the remains of the deceased member according to the custom and usual practice of the United States Army, Air Force, or Navy, which then become the property of the members of the family.


613. No military organization provided for by the Constitution and laws of this State and receiving State support shall, while under arms, either for ceremony or duty, carry any device, banner or flag of any State or Nation except that of the United States or of this State.


614. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor who knowingly casts contempt upon any Flag of the United States or of this state by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon it.

615. No provision of this code or of any law of this State which makes unlawful the use of the flag of the United States or of this State or of any picture or representation thereof shall apply to any act permitted by the statutes of the United States or of this State or by any regulations of the United States Army, or United States Air Force, or United States Navy, nor shall it be contrued to apply to any newspaper, periodical, book, pamphlet, circular, certificate, diploma, warrant or commission of appointment to office, ornamental picture, article of jewelry, or stationery for use in correspondence, on which is printed, painted, or placed a flag with no design or writing thereon and not connected with any advertisement.


616. Any person who displays a red flag, banner, or badge or any flag, badge, banner, or device of any color or form whatever in any public place or in any meeting place or public assembly, or from or on any house, building, or window as a sign, symbol, or emblem of forceful or violent opposition to organized government or as an invitation or stimulus to anarchistic action or as aid to propaganda that advocates by force or violence the overthrow of government is guilty of a felony.


617. No other flag or pennant shall be placed above, or if on the same level, to the right of the Flag of the United States of America, except during church services, when the church flag may be flown.


Chapter 2. Military Rewards And Decorations

Ca Codes (mvc:640-649) Military And Veterans Code Section 640-649



640. The following decorations are authorized for members of the National Guard, State Military Reserve, and Naval Militia: (a) Medal of Valor. (b) Military Cross. (c) Order of California. (d) Memorial Medal. (e) Medal of Merit. (f) Commendation Medal. (g) Service Medal. (h) Good Conduct Medal. The Order of California, Medal of Merit, and Commendation Medal are also authorized for award to civilians and members of other military services who bring honor to the State of California by their actions. The Adjutant General may provide and procure appropriate emblematic devices for each decoration, together with suitable ribbons and insignia to be worn with or in place of the medal.


641. A Medal of Valor may be presented to each person who, while an officer or enlisted member of the National Guard or Naval Militia, distinguishes himself or herself by courageous conduct at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty while in the service of the state or of the United States. No award of the Medal of Valor shall be made except upon clear and incontestable proof by affidavit of at least one eyewitness or person having personal knowledge of the act or deed. A Medal of Valor may be presented to each person who has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and proof by affidavit or otherwise of the act or deed shall not be required in those cases.


642. A Military Cross may be presented to each person who, while an officer or enlisted member of the National Guard or Naval Militia, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism while in the service of the state or of the United States.


642.1. The Order of California may be presented to an officer or enlisted member of the National Guard or Naval Militia who has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the state or the United States in a position of great responsibility. The performance of duty shall have been such as to merit recognition of service rendered in a clearly exceptional manner within the scope of a special requirement or of an extremely difficult duty performed in a clearly outstanding manner. Performance of duties normal to the grade and branch, specialty or assignment, and experience of an individual is not an adequate basis for this decoration, except that justification of the award may accrue by virtue of outstanding meritorious service in a succession of important positions. The accomplishment of the duty or period of service for which the decoration is recommended should have been completed prior to submitting a recommendation. However, if the person being recommended is transferred or will retire prior to completion, the action or accomplishment shall have reached a point of progression that will clearly establish the individual's contribution to be outstanding or represent significant accomplishment. The Order of California may also be awarded to civilians and members of other military services who distinguish themselves as indicated in this section.


642.5. A Memorial Medal may be presented posthumously to any person who, while an officer, warrant officer, or enlisted member of the National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia is killed in the service of the state or the United States.


643. A Medal of Merit may be presented to each person who, while an officer, warrant officer, or enlisted member of the National Guard or Naval Militia, distinguishes himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the state or the United States in a duty of great responsibility or to any person who, by unselfish and untiring activities in connection with the National Guard or Naval Militia, has rendered a distinct service in furthering the interests of and in promoting the security and welfare of the state. The Medal of Merit may also be awarded to civilians and members of other military services who distinguish themselves as indicated in this section.


643.1. A Commendation Medal may be presented to each person who, while an officer, warrant officer, or enlisted member of the National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval Militia distinguishes himself or herself while serving in any capacity with the National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval Militia by meritorious achievement or meritorious service. The meritorious achievement or meritorious service is less exceptional than that required for the Medal of Merit but shall be accomplished with distinction. The Commendation Medal may also be awarded to civilians and members of other military services who distinguish themselves as indicated in this section.


643.2. A good conduct medal may be presented to each person who, while an enlisted member of the California National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval Militia, has demonstrated fidelity through faithful and exact performance of duty, efficiency through capacity to produce desired results, and whose behavior has demonstrated that he or she deserves emulation.


643.3. A State Service Ribbon may be presented by the Adjutant General to each person who after July 1, 1963, honorably serves on active duty with the State during a period of emergency declared by the Governor or while the United States is engaged in war as defined in Section 18 of this code.


644. A service medal or bar shall be issued for 10 years' service in the California National Guard or the California Air National Guard or the Naval Militia or the State Military Reserve, and for each period of five years of service thereafter. Such medal or bar shall be issued to those entitled to the same upon application.


644.1. A Federal Service Ribbon may be presented by the Adjutant General to each person inducted into the federal service as a member of a California National Guard unit after September 15, 1940, and who has completed not less than a total of 12 months honorable service in the armed forces of the United States between September 15, 1940, and September 16, 1945, and to each person inducted into the federal service as a member of a California National Guard unit after August 1, 1950, and who has completed not less than a total of 12 months honorable service in the armed forces of the United States while the United States is engaged in war as defined in Section 18 of this code and to each person inducted into the federal service as a member of a California National Guard unit on or after October 1, 1961, and who has completed not less than a total of three months honorable service in the armed forces of the United States between October 1, 1961, and August 31, 1962. The Federal Service Ribbon shall be prepared, designed, awarded and issued according to rules and regulations to be adopted by the Adjutant General and all applications therefor shall be in writing and filed in the office of the Adjutant General. The applicant shall have the burden of proof as to his military service and the decision of the Adjutant General, in case of dispute, shall be final.


645. The Medal of Valor shall be presented by the Governor. The Military Cross, the Medal of Merit, the Service Medal, and other authorized medals and awards shall be presented by the Governor or The Adjutant General in the name of the Governor.


646. No more thn one Medal of Valor, or one Military Cross, or one Medal of Merit shall be issued to any one person; but for each succeeding deed or act sufficient to justify the award of a Medal of Valor, or a Military Cross, or a Medal of Merit, a suitable bar or other device denoting such additional award may be issued and worn as directed by appropriate regulations.


647. The Adjutant General may hold and conduct competitions and competitive military exercises, may procure and issue appropriate ribbons, badges, or insignia in connection therewith and for excellence in marksmanship, for drill attendance, and for competitive military training, and may authorize participation in national or state military or civil marksmanship competitions. All expenses in relation thereto shall be paid from state funds.


648. (a) Except as provided by subdivision (b), decorations authorized by this code and decorations, medals, badges, ribbons, and insignia authorized by the laws or regulations of the United States pertaining to the National Guard, Air National Guard, and Naval Militia may be worn by officers, warrant officers, and enlisted men and women in accordance with the code, laws, or regulations. However, decorations awarded by other states and territories of the United States may be worn, but shall be subordinated to those issued by federal and state laws or regulations. No other decorations, medals, badges, ribbons, or insignia may be worn. A violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor. (b) Decorations authorized by this code and decorations or medals from the Armed Forces of the United States, the California National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval Militia, or any service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, may be worn by uniformed public safety personnel in accordance with the code, laws, or regulations, during the business week prior to Veterans Day and Memorial Day, the day of Veterans Day and Memorial Day, and the business day immediately following Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The employer of the uniformed public safety personnel shall retain the right to prohibit the wearing of military decorations pursuant to this subdivision if the employer determines that wearing the military decorations poses a safety hazard to the uniformed public safety personnel or to the public.


649. (a) The Adjutant General may adopt, from time to time, any rules, regulations, and orders not inconsistent with this code which he or she deems necessary to carry into effect this chapter. (b) The Adjutant General may present duplicate medals or ribbons or other decorations authorized by this code to the next of kin of any deceased member of the National Guard, if the original decorations are inadvertently lost or destroyed. (c) Furthermore, the Adjutant General may establish additional awards and decorations as may be necessary to properly recognize the service or achievement of members of the National Guard, State Military Reserve, and Naval Militia.


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