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American Flag Etiquette

Displaying the American Flag properly is very important. Here are some guidelines.

Displaying the Flag Other than on a Staff

When displaying the flag against a wall, either horizontally or vertically, the union (blue field with the 50 stars) should be uppermost and to the observer's left (the flag's right). The union should be to the observer's left when displaying the flag from a window.

Displaying the Flag On the Same Halyard with Other Flags

When flying state, city, organization or institutional flags from the same halyard with the United States flag, the latter should always be at the peak.

Flying with Flags on Adjacent Staffs

When flying from adjacent staffs, the United States Flag should be hoisted first and lowered last. Never fly any other flag or pennant above or to the United State's flag's right.

Flying in a Group

When displaying in a group with state, city, organization or institutional flags and from staffs, the United States flag should be in the center and at the highest point of the group.

Flags with Crossed Staffs

When displaying with any other flag from crossed staffs, the United States flag should be on the right (the flags own right) and its staff should be in front of the other flag.

Flags and Speaker Platforms

The flag of the United States of America should be displayed above and behind the speaker if displaying flat. If displaying from a staff on a pulpit or public auditorium, the flag should be on the speaker's right. All other flags should be placed on the left.

Displaying With Other Nation's Flags

When displaying two or more nation's flags, each flag should be on separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be approximately the same size. International customs forbid displaying one nation's flag over another in times of peace. This is a sign of war time victory and a serious insult.

Displaying the Flag at Half-Staff

When flying the flag at half-staff, the flag should be raised to the top of the staff for an instant then lowered to the mid-way point of the staff. It should be raised to the top of the staff again before lowering the flag at the end of the day. The flag is flown at half-staff from sunrise till noon on Memorial Day. It is then flown at full staff for the remainder of the day.

In the event of the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the governor of the state, territory or possession, the President may order the flag to be flown at half-staff as respect for their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is displayed at half-staff in accordance with the Presidents instructions or orders or in accordance with recognized customs or practices, not inconsistent with law.

The governor of a state, territory or possession of the United States may proclaim that the national flag be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of a recent or former official of that state, territory or possession.

When to Fly the American Flag

Our national flag should be displayed on all days that there is no danger the weather will damage it. It not only shows respect for our national symbol, but prolongs the life of the flag. It is customary to fly the flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings or on a stationary flag pole in the open. However, it may also be flown at night if it is properly illuminated with a spotlight.

New Year's Day January 1
Martin Luther King Day Third Monday in January
Inauguration Day January 20th (every 4 years)
Lincoln's Birthday February 12
President's Day Third Monday in February
Washington's Birthday February 22
Easter Sunday Variable
Army Day April 6
V-E Day May 8
Mother's Day Second Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day Third Sunday in May
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Flag Day June 14
Father's Day Third Sunday in June
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day First Monday in September
V-J Day September 2
Constitution Day September 17
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Navy Day October 27
Presidential Election Day First Tuesday after first Monday in November
Veteran's Day November 11
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Pearl Harbor Day December 7
Christmas Day December 25

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