As we celebrate the independence of our great nation, it is important to remember the proper way to display the American flag. According to the Flag Code, the flag should be flown from sunrise to sunset, and if it is displayed overnight, it should be properly illuminated. The flag should never touch the ground and should always be treated with respect. Whether you are hanging the flag outside your house or displaying it inside, there are certain rules that should be followed to show your pride for our country.
When displaying the national flag, it should only be used for patriotic purposes. It should be displayed on all days the weather permits, and not just on national holidays. However, there is an exception for hanging the flag at half-staff, which is done as a sign of respect for fallen or deceased individuals. The stripes should always be displayed vertically, with the blue field of stars in the upper left corner when viewed from the front.
If you are unsure about how to properly display the flag, there are flag etiquette gurus who can provide guidance. They can also help with any questions you may have, such as whether it is appropriate to display other flags alongside the American flag. For example, state flags or military flags can be displayed along with the American flag, but they should be smaller and positioned lower. It is also important to remember that the American flag should always be the highest flag displayed.
Whether you have been proudly displaying the American flag for years or are just signing up to get your first one, it is essential to know and follow the Flag Code rules. From making sure the flag never touches the ground to properly folding and storing it, there are many ways to show respect for our nation’s symbol. So, this July 4th, let’s fly the flag right and show our love and pride for the United States of America!
8 Flag Code rules to follow
- Always light the flag with care
- Make sure to fly the flag on a flagpole attached to your house
- Only display the flag from sunrise to sunset, unless properly illuminated at night
- When displaying multiple flags, make sure the national flag is positioned above any state or organizational flags
- Do not let the flag touch the ground or any other objects
- Proudly display the flag in public places, such as schools and government buildings
- When hanging the flag vertically, the Union (blue section with stars) should be on the observer’s left
- Keep the flag visible and in good condition, avoiding anything that obstructs its visibility
1 Display only from sunrise until sunset – unless lit at night
Displaying the American flag is a way to show your independence and pride for your country. However, there are certain guidelines to follow when it comes to displaying the flag. One of these rules states that the flag should only be displayed from sunrise until sunset, unless it is properly lit at night.
When the flag is displayed overnight, it should be illuminated in a way that ensures it is visible and recognizable. This is especially important if the flag is being displayed for patriotic purposes, such as during the Independence Day celebrations on July 4th. To achieve this, you can use lighting fixtures to illuminate the flag from above or from the ground.
If you’re not sure whether the flag is properly illuminated, it’s best to take it down when the sun sets and put it back up at sunrise. This helps to ensure that the flag is treated with respect and not left in a state where it cannot be properly seen and appreciated.
Whether you’re displaying the flag on the front of your house, hanging it from a flagpole, or using it as a decorative item in your store or office, the rule remains the same – only display the flag from sunrise until sunset, unless it is properly lit at night.
By following this rule, you can proudly display the American flag without having to worry about breaking any flag code regulations. Having the flag displayed only during daylight hours and properly illuminated at night is a sign of respect for our national symbol and all that it represents.
So, keep in mind this rule when displaying the flag and you can be an American flag displaying guru!
2 Don’t let the flag touch the ground
One of the most important rules when proudly displaying the American flag is to ensure that it never touches the ground. This rule has been followed for many years as a sign of respect for our national symbol.
Whether you’re displaying the flag in front of your house, in a store, or at a special event, it should never touch the ground. If you’re unsure about how to properly hang the flag, there are guidelines you can follow to keep it off the ground.
If you’re displaying the flag on a flagpole, make sure it is securely attached and that the flag is hoisted up until it is visible. When the sun sets, lower the flag respectfully and store it indoors overnight. In the morning, make sure to raise the flag at sunrise.
When you’re displaying the flag indoors, such as in a classroom or at a ceremony, it should also be hung in a way that keeps it off the ground. The flag should be placed in a position of prominence and should never be obscured or used as drapery.
If you’re hanging the flag on a wall or ceiling, make sure it is properly secured and that all the stripes are visible. Additionally, the flag should be illuminated if it is displayed in a room that contains no natural light.
Remember, the flag should only be used for display purposes and should never be used as clothing or bedding. If you’re in doubt about the correct way to handle the flag, there are resources available that can provide guidance. Whether you’re a flag guru or don’t know anything about flag etiquette, it’s important to respect our national symbol and keep it off the ground.
3 The flag should never be displayed with the union down
When displaying the American flag, it is important to follow the proper etiquette and adhere to the Flag Code rules. One such rule is that the flag should never be displayed with the union down.
The union refers to the blue field with stars, which symbolizes the unity of the United States. It should always be displayed in the upper left corner, whether the flag is hanging vertically or horizontally.
Displaying the flag with the union down is considered a sign of distress or disrespect. It is often associated with dire situations or protests. The flag should be a symbol of pride, unity, and respect for the country, so it should always be displayed correctly.
There are certain circumstances where the flag may be hung upside down for legitimate purposes. For example, when it is used as a signal of distress, such as during a natural disaster or other emergencies. In these cases, the flag should only be displayed upside down until help arrives or the situation has been resolved.
However, for everyday display of the flag, it should always be flown with the union in the correct position. Whether you are hanging the flag outside your house, at a store, or for any other purpose, make sure it is proudly displayed with the union visible and right side up.
It is also important to remember to take down the flag at sunset, unless it is properly illuminated throughout the night. Leaving the flag displayed overnight without proper lighting is seen as disrespectful.
When signing off or retiring a flag, it is customary to fold it properly and store it in a respectful manner. There are guidelines on how to correctly fold the flag to ensure it is done with care and respect.
So, whether you are displaying the flag in front of your house or hanging it from the ceiling, always remember to fly it right side up. Keep in mind that the American flag represents our country, our freedom, and our independence, so it should always be treated with the utmost respect.
4 Never use it as apparrel or drapery
One important rule of flag etiquette is to never use the American flag as clothing or drapery. The flag should not be hung or stored in a way that it resembles any type of clothing or drapery.
Many people might not be aware of this rule, but it is important to remember that the flag is a symbol of our country’s independence and should be treated with respect.
Do not hang the flag from the ceiling or in front of a window like a curtain. It should always be displayed with the blue field of stars at the top, never upside down.
Using the American flag as clothing or drapery is disrespectful because it diminishes the significance of the flag. The flag should only be displayed on special occasions and should be taken down and properly stored after the event is over.
Whether you are using the flag to decorate your home or wearing it as an accessory, it is important to remember that the flag should be treated with the utmost respect. It should never touch the ground and should never be used for any other purposes.
Only display the American flag if you are able to do so properly and with the respect it deserves. If you are unsure of the proper etiquette for displaying the flag, it is always a good idea to consult a flag etiquette guru or refer to the United States Flag Code.
5 It should never be used to cover a ceiling
According to the Flag Code rules, the American flag should never be used as a drapery to cover a ceiling. The flag is a symbol of our country’s independence and should always be displayed with the utmost respect. Whether it’s hanging in front of your house or proudly displayed on the ground, the flag should be visible and should never touch the ground.
When displaying the flag, remember that it should be illuminated during hours of darkness, such as at night. If you’re having a flag hanging overnight, make sure it’s properly illuminated. The flag should be taken down and stored properly after sunset, unless it’s a specifically designed all-weather flag.
While it may be tempting to use the flag as a decorative piece or cover, it’s important to remember that the flag should only be used for official purposes. It should never be used to cover a ceiling, as this goes against the principles of respect and honor for our national symbol.
There’s no specific rule against using the flag as a drapery in general, but using it to cover a ceiling is considered inappropriate. It’s best to keep the flag displayed in a dignified manner, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, and to avoid using it for decorative purposes that don’t align with the values it represents.
So, next time you’re considering using the American flag to cover a ceiling, remember to think twice. Instead, find other ways to show your patriotism and respect for our country and its flag.
6 Do not use the flag for advertising purposes
In the United States, the American flag is a symbol of our country’s independence and unity. It should be displayed with respect and honor, and not be used for advertising purposes.
Using the flag for advertising means using it in a way that promotes or sells a product or service. This includes displaying the flag on billboards, ceilings, or drapery in a way that suggests a commercial message.
The flag should not touch the ground or be used to cover any objects, including vehicles or buildings. It should be visible at all times, whether it is displayed indoors or outdoors.
When displaying the flag overnight, it should be properly illuminated so that it remains visible. If this is not possible, the flag should be taken down and stored until sunrise.
It is important to note that the flag should never be used as a clothing item or as a part of a costume, unless it is a patch on an official uniform. It should also not be used as a backdrop or decoration for events.
It is not appropriate to use the flag in any way that suggests disrespect or disregard for its symbolism. This includes using the flag in a way that is offensive, such as burning or defacing it.
Whether you are a flag enthusiast or just starting to learn about flag etiquette, it is important to keep these rules in mind when displaying the American flag. By following these guidelines, you can proudly display the flag and show your respect for our nation’s symbol of freedom and unity.
7 Store it correctly without risk to damage
When it comes to storing your American flag, it’s important to do so properly to avoid any damage. Whether you’re only storing it until the next patriotic holiday or for longer periods, following these guidelines will help keep your flag in good condition:
- Keep it clean: Before storing the flag, make sure it is clean and free from any dirt or stains. If necessary, wash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Avoid direct sunlight: Sunlight can fade the colors of the flag over time, so it’s best to store it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.
- Proper folding: When folding the flag, follow the proper flag folding technique to avoid any creases or wrinkles. This will help preserve its neat appearance.
- Use a storage bag or box: Store the folded flag in a clean, dry storage bag or box to protect it from dust, moisture, and pests. Make sure the storage container is appropriately sized for the flag.
- Avoid damp areas: Moisture can cause mildew or damage the fabric of the flag. Avoid storing it in basements, attics, or other areas prone to dampness.
- Avoid storing with other items: Do not store the flag with any sharp objects or items that could snag or damage the fabric. Keep it separate from other belongings to prevent any accidental damage.
- Check periodically: Check on the stored flag periodically to ensure it remains in good condition. Make sure there are no signs of damage or pests.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure your American flag is safely stored and ready to be proudly displayed whenever the occasion calls for it.
8 Destroy it respectfully
When it comes time to retire your American flag, it is important to do so with the proper respect and care. The stripes and stars represent the unity and strength of our nation, so we must handle it appropriately.
If you have an old or tattered flag that is no longer suitable for hanging, you should not use it for any other purposes. It is disrespectful to cut up the flag and use it for cleaning cloths, rags, or anything else.
The American flag should be taken down and not left hanging overnight. It should only be displayed from sunrise to sunset, unless it is properly illuminated during the night. If you have a flag displayed on your front porch, make sure to take it down before going to bed.
When it is time to retire the flag, there is a proper way to dispose of it. You should not throw the flag in the trash or simply discard it. Instead, it should be burned in a respectful and dignified manner.
If you are not comfortable with burning the flag yourself, there are organizations and groups that can assist you in properly retiring your flag. Many American Legion posts and Boy Scout troops offer flag retirement ceremonies where they will take your old flag and respectfully dispose of it.
Remember, the American flag is a symbol of our country and the freedoms we hold dear. When it is time to retire the flag, do so with respect and honor, just as it has proudly flown in front of your house for years.