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California Laws | Military and Veterans Code
DIVISION 3. EMBLEMS AND DECORATIONS
CHAPTER 1. EMBLEMS (611-617)

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. (1065)

(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. (1066)

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. (1067)

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. (1068)

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. (1069)

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. (1070)

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. (1071)

CHAPTER 2. MILITARY REWARDS AND DECORATIONS (640-649) (1072)(Text)

640. The following decorations are authorized for members of the National Guard, State Military Reserve, and Naval Militia: (1073)

(a) Medal of Valor. (1074)

(b) Military Cross. (1075)

(c) Order of California. (1076)

(d) Memorial Medal. (1077)

(e) Medal of Merit. (1078)

(f) Commendation Medal. (1079)

(g) Service Medal. (1080)

(h) Good Conduct Medal. (1081)

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. (1082)

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. (1083)

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. (1084)

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. (1085)

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. (1086)

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. (1087)

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. (1088)

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. (1089)

The Order of California may also be awarded to civilians and members of other military services who distinguish themselves as indicated in this section. (1090)

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. (1091)

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