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Rules for Displaying The Flag of the United States

GoodHouseKeeping Site of the Day

Respect When Displaying The Flag of the United States

  • Night Flying of Flags
  • Inclement Weather
  • Flag Retirement (disposition)
  • We would like someone to donate artwork for each of these sections.
    Please contact us if you are willing to do so:-)

    From a staff projecting from a building

    Displaying the American Flag
    If the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a building the union should be at the peak, unless flown at half mast. When flown from a halyard over the sidewalk from a building pole, the flag should be hoisted union first from the building.

    Unveiling of a statue or monument

    Although the flag should be a distinctive feature at an unveiling of a statue or monument, it should never be used as the covering or veil.

    When flags of two or more nations are displayed

    Displaying the American Flag
    When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they should be the same size and flown from separate staffs. Customs forbids the flag of one nation to fly over another in peacetime.

    When suspended over a street

    When Suspended over a Street Unless flown from a staff, the flag should be displayed flat or in such a manner that its folds fall free. When suspended over a street, the Union should point either North or East.

    When carried in a procession with other flags

    When carried in a procession with other flags, the National Flag should be on the marching right. If there is a line of other flags, it should be front center of that line. The U. S. Flag should always be staffed when carried on a float.

    When displayed among a group radiating from a central staff

    When displayed among a group radiating from a central staff, the National Flag shall be centered and highest.

    When shown in a row of flags

    When shown in a row of flags, the National Flag will be at the right of the line (i.e. the viewer's left).

    When the flag is passing in parade
    being hoisted or lowered

    When the flag is passing in parade, being hoisted or lowered, all present should face it, stand at attention and salute: Uniformed persons render the military salute; women and uncovered men place their right hands over their hearts. Men should remove their hats, holding them over their hearts with their right hands.

    If the flag is displayed flat on a speaker's platform

    When Suspended over a Street If the flag is displayed flat on a speaker's platform, it would be placed behind and above the speaker with the union to his right.

    When displaying against the wall with another flag

    When displaying against the wall with another flag, the U. S. Flag will be on the right with its staff crossing over the staff of the other flag.

    When flown from a staff in a church chancel
    or speaker's platform

    Displaying the American Flag
    When flown from a staff in a church chancel or speaker's platform, the flag should be placed on the speaker's right. If placed elsewhere than on the platform, it should be on the right of the audience as they face the platform.

    During the playing of the National Anthem

    If the flag is not flown during the playing of the National Anthem, all present stand and face the music. Persons in uniform salute at the first note, holding it until the last note. Others stand at attention, men removing their hats. If the flag is displayed, all present should salute.

    When state, local, or organizational flags
    are flown from the same halyard

    When state, local, or organizational flags are flown from the same halyard, the U. S. Flag should always be hoisted first and lowered last. The National Flag should always be higher than the adjacent flags. US Flag and Ohio Flag on same poll

    When the flag covers a casket

    When the flag covers a casket, the Union should be at the head of the left shoulder. During burial, the flag must not touch the ground nor be lowered into the grave. To fly at half staff, the flag should be hoisted to the peak, then lowered. The opposite applies when lowering the flag from half staff.

    The Pledge of Allegiance:

    The Pledge of Allegiance:

      "I pledge allegiance
      to the Flag
      of the United States of America
      and to the Republic
      for which it stands,
      one Nation
      under God,
      indivisible,
      with liberty and justice for all."
    This should be recited at attention with the right hand over the heart; military personnel should salute.

    Church Pennant

    No flag or pennant will be flown above or to the right of the U. S. Flag at the same level, except the church pennant. This pennant may be flown above the flag during religious services at sea.

    Church Pennant Signifying divine services being conducted at sea by a naval chaplain for naval personnel, the church pennant is the only flag which may be flown over the national ensign. Like many other naval customs, the church pennant was probably handed down from the British Navy, which used it also as a signal for man overboard if displayed from the ensign staff. American vessels began use of the church pennant at an early, untraceable date.

    Flags on Moving Vehicles

    The care of flags on car antennae or the back of a truck. Be respectful, these flags quickly turn into frayed rags and become a disgrace to our nation.

    We know of no official law on this issue, nor tradition.

    Most of our rules and traditions on our Flag pre-date autos. So, let us look back at the time period of the revolutionary war to the civil war. You always heard of a flag being carried into battle either by a footman or a cavalryman. Therefore, we see no difference between a mustang or a Ford Bronco:-)

    Looking at WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc... You always have seen photos with the flag on jeeps and trucks. During Desert Storm you saw photos of flags on tanks. Nor has one ever seen a US Navy vessel without one.

    Therefore we don't see a problem with a flag in a truck or on a car antenna so long as it is retired and replaced before it becomes torn.

    Residential Flags

    A residential flag is no different from a military or corporate American flag. The home owner should follow all of the traditions of the greatest symbol of our freedom.

    • It should either be lit or not flown during the night.
    • It should never touch the ground.
    • It should be retired when it becomes faded or torn.

    The American Flag is more than a piece of cloth. It is the symbol of our Nation's freedom! Respect both our country and those veterans who died to give us this great nation. Always remember: Freedom is not free!

    Night Flying of Flags

    A flag should only be flown from dawn to dusk (sun light hours). That being said, a flag should never be flown unlit! If you have a permanent flag pole you should have a permanent spot light. This issue is all about respect, not law! Sadly we understand labor costs can over ride tradition. But please put a spot light on the flag.

    The traditional 3x5 American Flag can easily be lit by an inexpensive 150 watt flood light. Bulb and light is under $10.00 and can be found at any hardware or discount store.

    Inclement Weather

    Flags should not be flown during inclement weather.

    Flag Retirement (disposition)

    When Suspended over a Street Any time an American Flag becomes faded, or torn it should be retired. The following is the proper way to retire an American Flag.

    Half-Staff

    Flying the American Flag Half Staff When flown at half-staff, the flag is hoisted to the peak for an instant, then lowered to the half-staff position (half the distance from the top to the bottom of the staff).

    Before the flag is lowered for the day, it is raised again to the top, then lowered.

    If your flag is on an outrigger flagpole or mounted on a wall and cannot be flown at half-staff, it is appropriate to drape a purple and black mourning ribbon across the flag.

    Wearing the Flag

    Wearing the American Flag A flag patch may be attached to such uniforms as those of athletes, fire fighters, police officers, and members of patriotic organizations. The national flag should not be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

    Stowing the Flag

    Stowing The American Flag Many times an American Flag is permanently attached to a flag poll. It is not logical to remove it, if kept indoors, and fold it after each use. Therefore, one can stow the flag by rolling on the poll to prevent wrinkles. Then place a cover over it to prevent fading.

    Folding the Flag

    Folding the American Flag
    1st - To fold the flag correctly, bring the striped half up over the blue field.
    Folding the American Flag
    4th - Then fold the upper point in to form another triangle. Continue until the entire length of the flag is folded.
    Folding the American Flag
    2nd - Then fold it in half again
    Folding the American Flag
    5th - When you get near the end-nothing but the blue field showing-tuck the last bit into the other folds to secure it.
    Folding the American Flag
    3rd - Bring the lower striped corner to the upper edge, forming a triangle.
    Folding the American Flag
    6th - The final folded flag resembles a cocked hat with only the white stars on a blue field showing.


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