American Flag Guidelines

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How to Display and Care for the American Flag

American Flag - Thinkstock
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Many of our readers ask about U.S. flag rules and regulations. On June 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution, later amended on December 22, 1942, that encompassed what has come to be known as the U.S. Flag Code. Here are highlights:

Perhaps the most important rule involves how citizens should behave around the Stars and Stripes: The flag of the United States is the emblem of our identity as a separate nation, which the United States of America has been for more than 200 years. Therefore, citizens should stand at attention and salute when their flag is passing in a parade or being hoisted or lowered.

How to Properly Display the Flag

  • The custom is to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on flagstaffs in the open, but it may be displayed at night upon special occasions to produce a patriotic effect.
     
  • When the flag is hung vertically on a wall, window or door the Union (blue) should be to the observer’s left. When the flag is hung either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the Union (blue field) should be to the observer’s left.
     
  • The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
     
  • It should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement.
     
  • The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on

        New Year’s Day, January 1
        Inauguration Day, January 20
        Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, third Monday in January
        Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12
        Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February
        Easter Sunday (variable)
        Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May
        Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
        Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the 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
        Constitution Day, September 17
        Columbus Day, second Monday in October
        Navy Day, October 27
        Veterans Day, November 11
        Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
        Christmas Day, December 25
        and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
        the birthdays of States (date of admission)
        and on State holidays.

  • It should be displayed at every public institution and in or near every polling place on election days, and at schoolhouses during school days.
     
  • In a procession the flag is to the right of another flag or, if in a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
     
  • The flag should not be displayed on a float except from a staff, nor draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle.
     
  • When the flag is displayed on a vehicle, the staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis.
     
  • No other flag should be placed above the flag of the United States or, if on the same level, to its right.
     
  • The United Nations flag may not be displayed above or in a position of superior prominence to the United States flag except at United Nations Headquarters.
     
  • The flag displayed with another against a wall, from crossed staffs, should be on the right (the flag’s own right), and its staff should be in front of the other staff.
     
  • It should be at the center and the highest point when displayed with a group of state flags.
     
  • When flags of states, cities, etc., are flown on the same halyard, the United States flag should be at the peak.
     
  • When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height, and the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last.
     
  • When displayed from a staff projecting from a building, the union [upper inner corner] should be at the peak of the staff.
     
  • When it is displayed otherwise than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out; or so suspended that its folds fall as freely as though the flag were staffed.
     
  • When displayed over a street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street, or to the east in a north and south street.
     
  • On a platform, it should be above and behind the speaker, with the union uppermost and to the observer’s left.
     
  • When displayed from a staff in a church or auditorium, the flag should occupy the position of honor and be placed at the speaker’s right as he faces the audience.
     
  • When flown at half-staff, the flag should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to half-staff position. It should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. Half-staff is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag must be flown at half-staff on all buildings on the death of any officer listed below, for the period indicated:
    • For the President or a former President: 30 days from the date of death.
    • For the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives: 10 days from the day of death.
    • For an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a member of the Cabinet, a former Vice President, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives: From the day of death until interment.
    • For a United States Senator, Representative, Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico: the flag should be flown in the metropolitan area of the District of Columbia, on the day of death and on the following day; in the state, congressional district, territory, or commonwealth of such Senator, Representative, Delegate, or Commissioner, from the day of death until interment.
    • For a Governor: Within the state, territory, or possession, from the day of death until interment.
  • When the flag is used to cover a casket, the union should be at the head and over the left shoulder.

How Not to Display the Flag

  • The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.
     
  • It should never be displayed with the union down, save as a signal of dire distress.
     
  • It should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
     
  • It should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
     
  • It should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored so that it might be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
     
  • It should never be used as covering for a ceiling.
     
  • It should never have anything placed on it.
     
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose, nor embroidered on cushions or handkerchiefs, printed on paper napkins or boxes, nor used as any portion of a costume.
     
  • When the flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

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My precious Flag

I fly my flag proudly on my truck. I love my country with all my heart. I was at work yesterday and a gentleman went up to my friend and aked who's truck was that that was flying the American flag ? She told him it was Sherry inside the store he told her to tell me to retire my flag for it is disrespectful because it is torn she told the gentleman OK. Then she called me in the store and told me what he had said. It had started to rain so she went out to see if my windows were rolled up lo and behold the gentleman had literally ripped my flag off my pole leaving pieces of my American flag stuck to the pole. To say the least I was devastated I was so crushed I was bawling I cannot believe that somebody would do that to my American flag that I have been flying for three years since I got my truck . Yes I change them every four months or so when they do get tattered I just have not had a chance to change it yet. I get honks and waves all my customers come and say thank you for loving Our Country. Why would someone do this. Although I did not know about not flying tadder flags and this situation brought me to your site to get educated. I'm so hurt. Any suggestion on what kind of flag I could buy that will with stand flying on my truck. Money is tight but I love my Counrty and proudly want to fly my flag. God Bless the USA.

The Right Stuff

Hi, Sherry: You are the stuff of which great patriotism is made. Take solace in knowing that there are many, many millions like you. And keep on flyin’!

Bunting fan flag rules

Hi, I have 2 questions. We just bought a house and get the keys on July 21st. We want to put bunting fans along our upper deck railing. 1) do we need to light these at night? If so, would keeping the deck light on be sufficient or does each fan need it's own light? 2) since these are a holiday type decoration in the suburbs, will it be proper etiquette to hang after the 4th ?

Bunting Forever

Hi, Aggie: Congratulations from the OFA on your new house! As a decoration, rather than flag, bunting does not need to be lit at night. And it’s perfectly OK to hang patriotic bunting (properly) anytime and anywhere you want! Good luck!

Half staff with POW flag?

Our local Boy Scout troop has responsibility for the town flagpole in our town. Every Memorial Day they perform a flag ceremony where they lower last years American and POW flags and raise new ones. The POW flag is attached below the US flag. Our town is very proud of this tradition and display. My question is on occasions where the flag should be lowered to half staff, should the POW flag be removed or is it proper to leave it attached to the halyard when the flags are flying half staff?

Both OK

Hi, Harry: It’s fine to leave it attached below Old Glory–great question!

Time to put this to rest

I work armed security at night at a private "dooms day bunker" silo. We have armed security guards 24/7 365. Most of us are Law Enforcement officers & military, some both. One guy only has experience working in Corrections & for a different security company, I'll call him Dave.
My question stems from this..... The last 2 years on the 4th of July Dave has duct taped a small American flag onto a pole near our guard shack. Both years I've come to work at 11:00 pm for my shift to find the flag still up but unlit. Both years previous military (one military contractor & one Marine) worked the 3pm-11pm shift and to my surprise were allowing the flag to stay up unlit. All 3 of their responses to my request to honor the flag by taking it down at night has been "if the flag is displayed on a 24/7 armed post is does not have to be lit". I cannot find any flag etiquette that states these rules that they say apply to military 24/7 posts. The other part that is bothersome to me is they were told this rule by a previous security leader employed here who was fired due to lying & stolen Valor.
Please help me put this question to rest. Thank you!

Armed or Not

Hi, Megan: From a technical standpoint, all U.S. flags flown at night should be lit. We can see why your very well-meaning and patriotic associates would want to leave it up, but there is no distinction made between armed and unarmed posts, or between any post and your backyard, for that matter. The exception, of course, would occur if a military order were issued to fly an unlit flag at night–say, for example, to forcefully declare the establishment of a position–in which case the order would rightfully be carried out. Thanks for the question, and thanks for what you “guys” do!

Military & US Flag Code

Are there any DOD or US military requirements that service members must abide by the US Flag Code? I noticed that the military Exchange (AAFES) sells napkins and other items printed with the US Flag which is disrespectful according to the US Flag Code. I called AAFES HQ to address this but have been informed that the code uses the term "should", not "shall" so they are just profiting from a demand.

Optional

Hi, Tom: Indeed, the U.S. Flag Code is optional and thus reliant on a combination of patriotism and good taste everywhere. You can be the judge. Oops, looks like you already have been! Thanks for caring so much!

2 American flags on the same pole

A friend of mine just sent me a picture of 2 American flags flying at half mast on the same pole at the Courthouse Square in Prescott, AZ. Any idea why they would do this?

Two for Two

Hi, Angela: Tough to say, not being able to see, but sometimes this is done to commemorate two deaths–although technically it is not proper flag etiquette. Great question, thanks!

Porch flag/half mast

I have a flag flying from a post on my porch. The piece that holds the flag has two slots. One at a 45 degree angle upward and one at a 90 straight out. Is the 90 for flying the flag at half mast.

Good Question!

Hi, Jim: No, the lower slot is not for half-mast, which for a flag like this would be indicated by adding a black streamer to it (search below for more about streamers). The two slots are to give the user the option of which to use (either is OK, and remember, not all circumstances are the same) or to allow a second (non-U.S., such as state) flag to be flown below Old Glory. Thanks for asking!

Flag

I fly my flag 24/7/365... it is ragged and fading.. just like me... if you do not like my flag... get your own..

I agree with you! You tell

I agree with you! You tell them!
I just recently had someone leave a note on my porch telling me to take my "tattered flag" down.
The nerve....

Donating a flag for a small town city hall

I would like to donate a USA flag to our city hall to only be inside building - as they do not have one-
My husband a nam vet and now dead - was involved with the community be it local goverment or what have you - now our daughter was selected to work as the city clerk which I know my husband would be ever so proud of her for taking on such a job-but to our dismay she said mom- the state seal is on wall but no flag of any sort - what kind and what size or what????

A Proud Family

Hi, Danielle: Looks like yours has always been a wonderful, patriotic family–you must be so proud. It sounds to us like all you need to do is have you or your daughter ask the City Fathers and/or Mothers (i.e., City Council or Mayor) what would be appropriate and how to go about donating it. Thanks for thinking of this!

Flying historical flags

I am a vet from the 60's & live in a small town in central MN, where I also serve on the city council. Earlier this year, we had an individual display a couple of Conferate battle flags in their front windows. About a week later, another person attached another such flag to the second floor, outside their house. Needless to say, many in the town are upset (both locations are on a somewhat heavenly traveled trunk highway directly through the middle of town) & we have been advised that
there is nothing leaglly we can do to stop the display. So, I decided to fly the US flags of the 1860's (there were two: 34 & 35 Stars & Stripes used during the Civil War) on my own flagpoles. Some folks have asked me if protocol would allow the city to fly either flag on the city's flagpole located at our veteran's memorial? For that matter, is it within protocol to fly any historical, official US flag on any government location? I am sure we are not the only location in the US that is faced with this problem. Sorry for the long comment, but wanted to explain the complete circumstances. Thank you for this service.

Historically Speaking

Hi, Alex: Sometimes we think that you folks lie awake nights trying to come up with situations that will cause us to lie awake nights in trying to figure them out. But seriously, this is a fantastic question over which we didn’t lose that much sleep. Historical flags are sort of in a netherworld of their own. They are a U.S. flag, but they are not the U.S. flag (which has superceded it at some point). So, in terms of hierarchy and treatment, they rank below Old Glory yet above all other nongovernmental flags. Is it OK to fly either historical flag at your veterans memorial? Yes, in the same way that you could fly any flag you choose there. But bear in mind that the historical flag does not represent the same patriotic oomph that Old Glory does. A great way to use historical flag(s) at memorials is with more than one flagpole, with Old Glory highest and historical flag(s) on separate pole(s) lower. This marries the present with the past, as memorials do. But, basically, historical flags are history (however important and poignant) and Old Glory is The United States of America. FWIW, we would not replace Old Glory with a historical flag at your memorial, even though this sounds like a great idea and no doubt the heart is in the right place. Thanks for asking!

Historically Speaking

Thank you so very much for you rapid reply. You made an outstanding point about always flying Old Glory. Our memorial has the high pole & 5 shorter ones for each of the major services which we could use for 34 & 35 star flags. Thanks again for your guidance.

Historically Speaking

Thank you so very much for you rapid reply. You made an outstanding point about always flying Old Glory. Our memorial has the high pole & 5 shorter ones for each of the major services which we could use for 34 & 35 star flags. Thanks again for your guidance.

running races with a flag

If I were to run in 5K races with a U.S. flag, what are the rules to be aware of? I know not to touch the ground of course. The flag would be of household size and be on a staff. Can the staff rest on a shoulder occasionally, or must it always be held more aloft? Thanks for the help!

Flag Run

Hi, Timothy: The most important thing is to show respect for the flag at all times and not get it dirty or bedraggled. Yes, the staff can rest on the shoulder occasionally, but it still needs to be at angle such that the flag is aloft, and not at an angle at the horizontal or lower, such that the flag is drooping. Thanks for caring!

Flag at Half Mast

When is appropriate to NOT fly a flag at half mast. We have a small pole on top of building.
If the flag is lowered to half mast on this pole it drags against the building. What are the times a flag does not need to be flown at half mast? I know that residential flags from the side of a building do not have to put in half mast. Is this the same for commercial building.
Thanks

Guy

Streamered II

Hi, Guy: Good for you, for not wanting to despoil the flag and recognizing the danger! You are asking when is it permissible to not fly the flag at half-staff when it is supposed to fly at half-staff. The solution for this is to fly a black streamer with the flag. Please see the Reply “Streamered” below on May 27, 2016. If you cannot fly a streamer for whatever reason, the choice then becomes whether to take the flag down completely or leave it up. And THAT answer is leave it up. Thanks for asking!

Showing a tattered flag to students

What a wonderful site! I teach 7th and 8th grade social studies which covers American history, government and economics. I recently inherited 6 American Flags from my grandfather who passed in 2014. Our family has a long military history. My great grandfather served in WWI, my grandfather served in WWII, one of my uncles served in the Navy, and one was killed in action in Vietnam. He was a Green Beret. My late grandfather loved this country and flew a flag in his yard every day of his 89 years of life. One of the flags I inherited in tattered and torn, frayed at the edges. This is the flag that flew in his yard for years. It was beautifully crafted with each piece sewn, not printed. This flag should be retired with all honors but my question is, would it be appropriate to preserve this flag to show to my students? Seeing real pieces of history is so much better than a picture on the internet!

Not Ready for Retirement

Hi, Sara: What a great idea! It would be MOST appropriate to keep this flag for educational purposes, being especially careful to treat it with respect, as we know you will! Keep on teachin’ on for Old Glory!

Question about flying the flag

My husband and I live on a very large lake in the Alaskan wilderness. 99% of the land around the lake is federal land, but we live on an island that is private land. The lake is 20 miles long and 5 miles across and is one of the most beautiful places in Alaska. In the summertime, it is widely used by boaters, kayakers, fishermen, etc. Much of the land around the lake has been burned by forest fires at different times throughout the decades, so there are many tree poles that were killed by fire, but still stand strong. We have thought about flying some flags from these tree poles as a reminder to all who use the lake and enjoy the beauty that there are those who have sacrificed all for our freedom to do so.. would this be an improper or unethical way to display our flag? There would be times when they would be left out in inclement weather as it's dangerous to go out on the water during storms. However, we would take them down at the end of the summer season. Thanks for your time to answer our question.

Alaska Answer Applies for All

Hi, Jill: This is one of the best questions we’ve ever had. Thank you for the detail. To start at the end of your question: It is proper to fly the U.S. flag in inclement conditions only if it is a weatherproof flag. Also, a flag flown at night needs to be lit. These conditions (or at least the latter) would seem to rule out your noble plan (which, if we understand it correctly, would involve you flying flags on federal property, which in itself might not be kosher). But the bigger question you raise–and it’s an important one–would seem to center on at what point patriotism/flag flying might become intrusive and/or counterproductive. For example, we would bet that there are millions and millions of people out there who are super patriotic and respectful of the flag, and yet would not feel the need to be reminded of this by a display in a wilderness to which they came for its pristine, untouched-by-man beauty. Improper? Unethical? Certainly not–your heart is definitely in the right place! But if you are flying Old Glory in a prominent way at your own place, that might seem to us like honor and reminder enough to others of the debt of gratitude we all owe to those who preserve and protect your beautiful space to begin with. Thanks again!

Flag gets stuck

First: I've read many of the questions and answer. Thank you for taking the time to help many of our fellow Americans learn the proper way to display, care for, maintain and retire our living and breathing symbol of freedom.
Second: I have a (approx 3' X 5') flag hanging from a flag staff attached to the side of the house, like many do. Occasionally, (2 times per week +/-) the wind will blow the lower corner of the flag UP and it will get caught in the gutter. I look at it every morning and every evening (as it flies 24/7/365 with proper lighting). I gently dislodge the corner from where it comes to rest in the gutter anytime I see it, never ignoring its condition. I have tried different angles of the staff and I have found the best angle that allows the least amount of these mishaps. (About 45 degrees, maybe a tad less) I am worried that it may still be inappropriate to even let this happen ONCE. Should I just abandon the idea of having it out there at all? (No other place to display it is available that would be at all visible from the street.). Or is it ok that it gets hung up on occasion, as long as it is tended to swiftly?

Weighty Subject

Hi, Darin: Wow! You are one of the most caring patriots we’ve ever had in this forum. To answer your question: Yes, it is perfectly OK if it gets hung up on occasion and you fix it. Such is the life of a flag! That being said, and bearing in mind that it is not proper to deface or alter the flag by adding something to it, and knowing that we will thus disavow all knowledge of this tip, let us share something an old-timer once showed us: Put a weight in the corner of your flag. Because of varying wind directions and speeds and who-knows-what-else, this doesn’t work all the time. But sometimes you can sew or tape (wrap in red ribbon first) juuuuusssst enough weight in the bottom corner of the flag to still allow it to fly freely yet be too heavy to be blown up and get snagged. Think coin(s), fishing sinker(s), or even fishing BB shot sinkers (not lead) sewn into a hem. But if no happy weight medium can be found, you are perfectly OK in continuing to help Old Glory along her way as you are now. Thanks for asking!

Honoring Our Flag

Darin,

I have been struggling with this situation recently myself, I can be found on my step ladder as well. My main concern is that the flag is in great shape but it is not as clean as I would like. I understand the ironic. I am humbled and grateful to be in the position I am that I have the opportunity to fly our Flag in my home every day...but can I Wash , Dry Clean??? Thank you ...Patti

Taken to the Cleaners

Hi, Patti: ABSOLUTELY, you can clean your flag! Go for it!

Flag etiquette

Yesterday the President declared that flags should be flown at half mast in remembrance of the terrible attack in Orland on Sunday. In our neighborhood we have several people who have very tall flag poles in their yards. Many of those people are retired military. Today I observed that not a single one of these flags is at half mast. Does the President’s declaration only apply to Flags in public places and not to flags in neighborhood yards?

We Do What We Can Do

Hi, Katja: Thank you for this excellent question! When the President orders flags to be flown at half-staff, this is required of (U.S.) government-controlled flags (and some others). Beyond that, whether to fly the flag at half-staff is up to the entity/individual flying the flag, because it becomes a matter of freedom of speech. From our experience over these many, many years, it has often appeared to be the case that people just don’t realize that their flag should be at half-staff. And, even more often than that, there is often a physical reason for noncompliance: the flag or halyard is stuck, or the owner is just too infirm to do it. Is there sometimes some laziness involved, maybe? No doubt, but we continue to believe that patriots’ hearts are in the right places, and that there are far more flags being flown at half-staff in their hearts and minds than there sometimes are on their property, because for one reason or another they are unable to do it. We give them the benefit of the doubt (because after all, they care enough to have a flag to begin with), just as we give you a huge patriot salute. Thanks again!

half staff

As a former military veteran I fly my flag proudly. I keep an app on my phone for www.azhalfstaff.com. The governor here sets dates for fallen soldiers, police, fire, etc. I try to keep up with it and follow along with it. But working 12 hour shifts it is not always easy to get these updates that you complained about your neighbors. That word does not always get publicized and maybe your neighbors didn't get the word. But as said above it is their right to recognize the president's request. I won't try to explain your neighbors. The fact that the take the time to fly the flag is far better than most Americans these days. I would worry more about it being flown properly. If at night a light be shown on it. Never in inclement weather. Never tattered. There are many rules of etiquette to fly. I would worry more about that. Many folks in this world are busy and can't keep up with all the times the flag should be lowered to half staff. The days you should look out for are certain holidays that it is ceremonial to fly at half staff/mast. Sometimes until noon and then raised to full staff. I would ask that if you fly your flag then you do it responsibly and if you so need then inquire with your neighbors why they fly theirs the way they do. Most folks out there will be honest with you. Maybe set up a neighborhood schedule to keep up. It would be nice to see a row of flags down a road that are in sync. Fly your flags proudly.

Here is how it played out

Just to let everyone know. The Honor Guard ceremony was held outside after the service. As we stood facing the Honor Guard, you could look across the church yard and see my folks house. One of the Honor Guards walked over and lowered their flag to half staff. After the 21 gun salute he then played taps from their front porch. He stood at Salute until the casket flag was folded and presented to my Mom. My nephew who is a Lt Col. presented the flag to Mom and he also raised their flag back to full staff.

Moved

Sounds very moving and appropriate–thanks for sharing!

My Dad passed away on

My Dad passed away on Memorial Day and his service will be Tuesday. He retired Army with many honors. Is it OK to fly the Flag on his property at half staff on the day of his funeral?

I would like to add: Dad was

I would like to add: Dad was 91 years old, a WWll (Europe), 4 major battles, and knighted Frances Honors

Honored

Hi, Bill: Thank you to you for asking and to your dad for serving. The U.S. flag should be flown at half-staff only by order of the President and at other specific dates, times, and/or places. As you can imagine, our national flag-flying would look pretty bedraggled and disorganized if everybody did their own thing. That being said–and if you promise not to tell anyone we said so–we are honored to recommend that you just go ahead and do it. Having the freedom to make such a choice is what your dad fought for, and we know that you’ll handle the whole thing with the utmost respect for our flag and country. But shhhhhh!

Flag on Grave

If you want to put a flag on a grave and someone has placed a Confederate flag there, do you place the American Flag to the right while looking from the head of the grave or the foot of the grave?

Grave question

Hi, Jamie: When looking from the head of the grave, the U.S. flag should be on the right. Thanks for asking!

Tangled flag

Recently when raising the flag from half-staff to the top of the pole on Memorial Day, it became tangled in the ropes. Is it proper to bring it down, untangle it, and immediately run it back up so as to properly display it? Please advise. Thank you.

Proper answer

Hi, Michael: Yes, it is most proper. Thanks for caring so much!

US Flag at Olympics

How can we stop the US Olympic event winners from using the flag as a 'beach towel' or cape? Years ago I send in a suggestion (with my supporting donation) that the US team support committee have three flags correctly mounted on a staff to pass to the winners for their victory lap. Unfortunately having watched too many individuals who are 'representing' our country being shown disrespecting (in my opinion) the item which truly represents it, I quit sending the suggestions and the donations to the team.

Can two American flags be flown on a pole at the same time

Just was curious

Double trouble

Hi, Edward: Great question! The answer is no. Thanks for asking!

Night time flying of the flag

Shouldn't there be a light to illuminate the flag at night?

Seeing the Light

Hi, Estella: Yes, that is correct. Thanks for asking!

How to raise half mast if it can not be lowered

I display a US Flag from my front porch on a pole angled upward at 45 degrees. It can NOT be lowered to half mast. I have heard and seen people use a black ribbon or drape to signify morning on such flags but can not find any references.

Help! What can I do to indicate the flag is at half mast.

Streamered

Hi, Bill: Thanks for caring so much as to ask. An unofficial yet acceptable alternative to flying at half-staff is to fly a black streamer from the tip of the pole (not tip of flag). This should really be a fabric streamer, with black wrapping ribbon used only as a last resort. The streamer needs to be of the same quality and treated with only slightly less respect than the flag. Unofficial rules of thumb are that the streamer should be at least as long as the flag is wide, and as wide as the width of a flag stripe. Thanks again!

Waving small flags

I go with a small group every week to different nursing home's and sing old hymns. At one point in the program we honor our country and sing God Bless America. At this point most of the singers wave a small American flag. Since I joined this group they have been trying to convince me to wave a flag also. I refuse since I feel that it's disrespectful. Am I correct?

Wavy Answer

Hi, Bob: This is a wonderful question, and we compliment you on your concern. In reality, waving a properly mounted flag of any size in a respectful and patriotic was is perfectly acceptable. Thanks for asking!

Flying half staffflag

I've read a lot of the comments and I understand how the flag is supposed to be represented with respect and flown. But how do I fly the American flag half staff from the pillar in front of my house hanging at 45 degrees on a single pole?

Another Streamered

Hi, Fred: Please see the “Streamered” response above, and thanks for caring!

I thought flying the stick

I thought flying the stick horizontally in these cases was acceptable or is that dipping?

How To Display the US flag.

I had a question as to how the flag would hung while a person is talking to a group of people. I figured the flag should be to the person's left and what ever kind of flag to the right? Is this correct?

Not Right on Left

Hi, William: No, when facing a group, the flag should be to the speaker’s right. Thanks for asking!

Disposal of old US Flags

Over the years we have purchased several inexpensive flags from Home Depot. They are worn out and should be "retired." How do we dispose of them? They are some sort of synthetic material and would not burn easily. What do we do?

Feel the Burn

Hi, Fran: This is one of the SUPER best questions we have ever had! Thank you! The underlying concept is that our flag should always be retired with respect and dignity. Burning is the the preferred method. A veterans organization will often be happy to help you with this or do it for you. BUT, as you say, what if the flag won’t burn, or burn well? For starters, trying to burn a synthetic material is going to result not only in an incomplete (e.g., melted) result, but also in noxious fumes both for you and the environment. What to do? Recycle the flag. In a very dignified manner, cut it into quarters. First, cut it in half vertically (that is, on its short dimension), being very careful not to cut into the blue Union. Then, cut those halves in half. But don’t just hold it up and start snipping. Ask people (especially children) to help. Measure carefully and lightly mark. Make clean, straight cuts. You now have parts to a flag, not a flag, which still must be treated carefully and respectfully, but then can be recycled as fabric pieces. Thanks again!

a question on displaying the flag ...

i have a question on correct display but, FIRST of all i would like to say something else. Here it is: i LOVE our flag and i LOVE our country. In spite of all the detractors, confusions of the "times", differing opinions of MANY kinds, etc. .... America is just as great as ever !!! It is an honor and a privilege to be both born and raised here. Just as it is an honor and privilege to fly our beloved "Old Glory". My question is .... recently i had a need to interact with some "everyday hero" EMT/ first respond-er folks and i noticed the flag insignia they were all wearing as part of their official garb .... as a "patch" on their right sleeves .... featured the union to the right when looking at it. i asked one of them why and he told me to signify they were moving forward to aide and serve .... does that sound right ? i'm pretty sure that's how he explained it to me, altho my memory is "not what it used to be". Thank-you in advance. A big thank-you to The Old Farmer's Almanac for posting this guide to proper flag etiquette, also. i am happy to say there was only one i don't remember ever knowing. Again, a sincere THANKS and God Bless our country and our FLAG !!!

Flyin' Backward

Hi, Proud Patriot Deb: Your first responder friend was correct. The “reverse side flag” on a right shoulder is indeed meant to show forward motion to serve and protect us. From a highly technical standpoint, this is meant to apply to armed forces only, but civilian agencies have adopted the practice and we certainly are not going to quibble over it. Thanks to you, and thanks to all of them!

Flying the flag when you are away

A neighbor recently mentioned that another neighbor ,who is a winter visitor to the area, had left and the flag was still up? She stated this was illegal?? It has a light on it at night. The State is Arizona?

Flag Staff, Arizona

Hi, Kathy: Thank you for caring so much about this. As long as the flag is an all-weather type that is durable enough to be outside during any inclement weather, it sounds to us like your neighbor has actually done something perfectly legal to honor our flag. As long as that light is shining at night, they’re all set. Thanks again!

Tea stained flag

We bought tea stained bunting to hang at our home from memorial day to 4th of July. Is it ok to buy a tea stained flag to display as well or should we buy one that isn't tea stained?!

Tea Time–Not

Hi, Sheila: Wow, it is really heartening to know that there are folks out there like you who care so much. Our flag is red, white, and blue. It should be kept red, white, and blue, with no tea stains, tea stain patterns, or anything else to sully the purity of its solemn duty to represent the United States and freedom. Spread the word, and thanks!

OK to spread large flags on floor for inspecting condition?

I have inherited several large, older American flags with less than 50 stars. The largest measures 15 feet by 8 feet. Would it be OK to temporarily spread them out, indoors, over protective plastic on the floor to allow for the inspection of their condition? They would not be visible to the public and any individuals would be notified before being allowed to view the condition of the flags in case they were to find it offensive.

Floored

Hi, Todd: This is perfectly OK in circumstances such as these, and it sounds to us like you have a very well thought out plan––congratulations. One caution: We understand that this may be a situation where folks might even be wearing curator’s gloves, but please beware of people stepping on the flags. However, with flags of this size, we understand that there might be a need to crawl on them. In that case, footwear should be removed. If that is not possible, then protective booties should be used. Good luck, and thanks for asking!

Two flags (State and US) which hangs left? Which right?

Hi! We are hanging two flags (US and State) on either side of our front porch steps. Can you advise if there is a protocol as to which flag should hang on the left and which on the right? Thanks so much for your expertise. d.

Hang 'em High

Hi, Darby: As you face the house, the U.S. flag should be on your left. Thanks for asking and caring so much!

Vertical flag from firetruck boom over parade street

What is the proper position for the Union? The flag was hung vertically from a fire truck boom over the center of the street for the parade to pass under at the beginning of the parade route into downtown. The street is East-West bound, so North would be the normal direction for the Union. Yet, for the second year in a row, the Union was to the South. What am I missing about this? Is it a left/right issue rather than a North or East issue?

North, south, left, right

Hi, Richard: This is a great question! Flying the flag has nothing to do with north and south or east and west, as we suspect you recognize. In this case, the union would be on the marchers’ right as they passed under it. Think of the street as a stage, and the parade is coming out from behind the curtain. So, even though “North would NOT be the normal direction for the Union” (since north-south doesn’t matter), you are accidentally right in thinking that south is wrong.

Of course, the above holds true only if the boom is truly horizontal and the flag is truly vertical. If the flag is being “flown” at any angle other than vertical, then the union would need to be higher than the rest of the flag. In this case (think of a fire truck ladder as being a flag staff), where the union was in relation to the marchers would depend on which side of the street the fire truck was on. Whew! Thanks for asking!

Piece of the flag

A family member of mine recently received a piece of the flag sealed in plastic with a piece of paper saying
"I am part of our American flag that has flown over the USA.I can no longer fly. The sun and wind caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that You are never forgotten."
I love the idea but is this permissible?

Watchdog

Hi, Bill: Wow! What a watchdog patriot you are! No! This is improper. Worn-out U.S. flags should be respectfully and carefully burned, with a proper ceremony if possible. A local veterans group is usually honored to help. Thanks for asking!

How to display flags on a motorcycle

Hello I just want to make sure that I display the flags right. I saw that with 3 flags, you put the American flag in the middle. But I want to make sure I display my other two flags correctly. I have a confederate flag which I think should go on the marching right and then the Marine flag on the left. Is this right?

Bike Order

Hi, Tim: Great question, thanks for asking. No, this is not correct. The order of precedence for these flags is US, USMC (because it is a U.S. armed service), CSA. So, with the US flag higher and in the center, the next place of honor is to its marching right, or on the far right as you look at the back of the bike. If your middle flag is not going to be higher, then left to right order when viewed from the back of the bike would be CSA, USMC, US (on rider’s far right). Thanks for caring!

A Color Run

I run with a flag during races. I am doing a color run soon, (a color run is a race you run with people thgrowing colored flower at you) Would it be ok to run with it then with it at risk of getting coloring on it. (does wash out)

Color Us No

Hi, Ryan: Thanks for asking! But sorry–intentionally soiling the flag with anything for any reason is a big-time no-no. But good for you for thinking about it!

Cleaning a soiled flag

I recently started a new job in an electrical shop. A flag is hung from a high railing and has been there for a while. There is a lot of dust in the shop and the flag is covered by it. Is there any rule of flag etiquette that explicitly prohibits machine laundering an American flag?

A Clean Answer

Hi, Jim: It is perfectly OK to machine launder a flag, as long as it is treated respectfully going into and coming out of the washer (and dryer, if need be). Great, great question–thanks!

Wooden Flag

Is it ok to make a replica flag from wood? If following the proper design. When on display does it have to follow the same rules, like being lit when mounted outside?

It Wood Be OK

Hi, Brian: It would be fine to make a replica flag from wood, and yes, you would want to try to follow the guidelines for fabric flags, if possible. Thank you for caring so much. It would be great if more people realized, like you, that the image of the flag–not just the flag itself–also needs to be treated with respect. Good for you!

Displaying flag with disrespect or not

I have a neighbor that has a flag displayed that's attached to their house, but they never take it down. I always thought that it's supposed to be taken down at sundown unless you shine a light on it. That's what I've read also, but is there something else I'm missing that says there's an exception to this rule? Also, it's stuck in their gutter and has been about a month after displaying it (when Obama was elected, so it's been years). When they had their gutters cleaned out this summer, the guy pulled it out and it's filthy and looks torn. But now it's back in the gutter again. I feel this is complete disrespect for our flag and I don't know how to politely tell them this. They recently put out a green light to show their support of our armed forces, but then they fly their flag like this. It's so frustrating looking out at that every day.....how do you tell them they're doing it wrong?

Get Some Help

Hi, Alicia: Wow, what a patriot you are! (And you are correct about nighttime lighting.) We have found that cases like this can often be solved with the help of a patriotic or veterans organization such as the American Legion or VFW (or any other civic-minded organization that does public service). You quietly–repeat, quietly–go to a member and explain the challenge. The organization then procures a replacement flag and sends it with a small delegation to the neighbor’s house. They say to the neighbor, “You know, we see that you support our armed forces with the green light, and also that you have flown your flag so much in support of our country that it looks a little the worse for wear. We would be very honored if you would let us replace it for you.” Good luck, and thanks again for caring!

an all weather flag question?e

Does an all weather flag have to be lit at night?

Lit Bit

Hi, K: Yes. Over and out!

outdoor flag display

Is it appropriate to attach a flagpole w/flag to a tree., have been flying 24/7 since 911 and was attached to eves of house unfortunately the high winds have dislodged it 4 different times so I thought maybe the tree would be a lot more stable
Thx

Treed

Hi, Rex: A tree is fine. Thank you for being so patriotic and caring enough to ask this question!

Reply to Tom Maxwell's question about the display of our Flag

I am again asking my question............In Cuba, the Cuba Flag was flown to the left side, first position and the American Flag in second position facing the Present is this correct ???????????

Cuba, si; Old Glory, si

Hi, Joseph and Tom: Thank you for this excellent question and for spotting this anomaly. When the U.S. flag is flown in a foreign country, the rules of the country for their own flag take precedence. As you can imagine, sometimes this can get a little dicey with regard to where the U.S. flag ends up, so the positioning of flags for official events is gone over in great detail by diplomatic staff. Sometimes the host rules are flexible enough that our rules can be followed; sometimes they are not. Thanks again!

Reply to Tom Maxwell's question about the display of our Flag

Was this question answered about the position of our Flag in Cuba ???
Tom Maxwell 3/22/16 @ 1:22 PM ?????????

US FLAF FLOWN WITH FOREIGN FLAG IN FOREIGN COUNTRY

I noticed that the US flag was not on its own right when it was displayed behind President Obama while speaking in Cuba. What is the proper way to display our US flag in a foreign country?

Foreign flag decorum

Hi, Tom: Please see above, and thanks for asking!

Proper handling of flag

Is it proper to have a wind vane above the flag on the same pole?

A question in vane

Hi, Jeffrey: Great question! Answer: No, not really. The only thing considered proper to sit above the flag is the cap on the pole (such as a ball or discreetly sized eagle), which is interpreted as being necessary to protect the integrity of the pole, which in turn is interpreted as necessary to protect the integrity of the flag. Thanks for asking!

Displaying a flag in a case

I just want to check on the acceptability of placing a flag, properly folded and in a display case on a wall. Have never seen that before and want to make sure it complies with proper flag etiquette. Have always seen the display case on a mantle, table of placed on something, never mounted on a wall. A hanging flag is to have the star field to the upper left. Does that rule apply in this case?

Go for it

Hi, Gerry: It is perfectly OK to mount a flag case on a wall, provided that it is located in a position worthy of respect, as for an unfolded flag. We are unsure about your question regarding the positioning of the union (“star field”), as a properly folded flag will show only the union and no red or white. Incidentally, a properly mounted flag case will have its long side on the bottom so that it looks like a mountain. Thanks for asking!

flag in the rain

I am the person responsible for flying the flag at a small high school in Sacramento. The principal at the school is quite patriotic and says that he wants the flag flown every day, including rainy days. Above I read what I believed to be true; that the flag should not be flown in inclement weather. He says however, that the material is weather proof and it can be flown anytime. I feel that the flag just looks wrong soaking up against the pole and it is not easy or dignified taking it down all wet. To make matters worse, in order for it to dry afterwards (it must be taken down daily), it would have to be spread out and draped over something in what I perceive also an undignified manner.
What are the thoughts on this?

Principally Correct

Hi, Mr. Stedman: This is a great, caring question–thank you for asking! Your principal is correct: It is OK to fly the U.S. flag in inclement weather if the flag is rugged and weatherproof. The question then becomes, Is it best to fly the flag in inclement weather? Your drying concerns are legitimate; the solution might be hanging, as on an indoor clothesline of some sort, rather than draping. Your concerns about aesthetics are also well taken. Our thoughts? We would let the all-weather flag fly in showers or sprinkles but take it down in pouring or sustained rain, even though we didn’t have to. And BTW: It is not wrong NOT to fly the flag in any situation you think might diminish the respect in which it should be held. Thanks again!

House Display

I just obtained a new American flag, pole and adjustable wall mounting bracket. The best location I can find along the front of my house is a front porch column. The porch cover is small and just covers the front door area located roughly in the middle of the house. Due to existing trees in the front yard and roof overhangs, the best and most visible location would be on the left side of the left column. This location would provide a clear and unobstructed view of the flag when viewing from the street, and it would be able to fly freely without touching roof overhangs or tree branches. I would propose to mount it such that the pole would extend out from the column at approximately 45 degrees. This orientation would point the flag to the north, and it would keep the Union stars at the top, but when viewed from the street, looking at the house and flag, the flag would appear with the Union in the upper right portion of the flag. I cannot mount it on the right column, pointing to the right (south) because of low tree branches; and due to the long extending roof overhang along the front of the house, any mount to the house face would be much too low. Before installing the pole bracket, I want to be sure my proposed location and orientation is acceptable. Your guidance will be most appreciated. Thank you.

Coping with Columns

Hi, RB: As long as it is only the U.S. flag we are talking about (not along with others) and the flag is mounted properly on the staff (Union at top against staff), you may mount the staff anywhere that allows for unimpeded flying. Thanks for the great detail, and thank you so much for caring so much!

Variety of flags

My church is wanting to hang small national flags (3"x5") from wooden plaques to represent the numerous countries represented through the missionaries we support. What is the proper side to mount these on, the right or left side of each plaque? Does this vary depending on the type of flag (some are state flags, some American flags, but most national flags from other countries) Also does it matter if they are mounted straight or at an angle?

Half staff

When flying the flag at half staff is the flag suppose to remain up continuously? Or is it lowered then raised each day?

Half-Staff, Full Treatment

Hi, Robert: No, the rules for flying a flag at half-staff are the same as for flying it at full-staff, which means that it needs to be raised and lowered each morning/night if not lit throughout the night. And for a half-staff flag, please remember that the proper way to raise it is to raise it all the way, then lower it to half-staff. The reverse is true for lowering it: Raise all the way up, then lower all the way down. Thanks for asking!

How to hang a US Flag

I want to hang a US flag inside our business on the wall because I am proud of the United States and what this country stands for. Is there a particular way to hang the flag? For example, tacks, nails, double-sided tape, etc.

Tacky Question

Hi, Jim: This is a great question, thanks! Ideally, a flag mounted on a wall should have a dowel or rod running through its (folded over) top edge, which is then affixed to the wall either directly or hung via a cord from a single point. If your flag does have a stitched channel for a rod along its short side, such as could be used for mounting on a staff (you slide the staff into it), then mounting this flag vertically by using this channel would be preferable to mounting it horizontally. Of course, this is not always possible, which is what your question is about. Assuming that your flag does not have grommets on the short side which you could hang on nails or similar (which would be perfectly OK), the answer to your question is that when affixing directly through the cloth, you need to use a fastener that (1) provides the most security, (2) creates the least damage, (3) affects the smallest area, and (4) creates the least chance for damage/tearing. In other words, use as few of something small and strong as possible. Also, be sure that the middle of the top does not sag. Thanks for your patriotism!

Wall hanging

Can i hang an American Flag on a wall in a sports bar following the guidelines addressed here such as positioning and nothing touching below it?

How to Be a Flag Good Sport(s)

Hi, Joseph: Thanks for asking this question that is pondered by many establishments but asked by few. The answer is yes … sort of. The key thing here is respect for the flag, which you obviously have. In places such as bars and organization halls, it is important that the flag be somewhat isolated so that it can be identified and honored for what it is, not as just another wall decoration. There needs to be some separation from the beer signs and team logos and pix of MMA stars – or who/whatever. But you seem to understand this, and we’re sure you’ll do a great job. Thanks again for your patriotism!

Flying American flag at home

I hope I didn't miss this answer in reading the above. But, if flying a smaller American flag from a pole on our front porch, must it be lit at all times? Or taken down every night? I wasn't sure if that's just the larger flags flying from a flagpole. This is a very informative page! Looking forward to your answer before we go out and buy (I want to know what I'm getting myself into!) lol

One Light Fits All

Hi, Amy: The rules for either lighting the flag or taking it down at night apply to all sizes flying from all places, but no, it doesn’t have to be lit at all times, i.e., during daytime. Just at night. Thanks for caring!

Flag Projecting from House

Hi -
Different question... When flying an American flag on a staff projecting from my house, can I have a state flag directly below the US flag on the same staff? Like, a 3x5 American flag at the top, following proper guidelines, with a 2x4 version of my state flag on the same staff right below the American flag? I know that's acceptable on a flag pole, but I've never seen anyone do it when flying the flag from the front of their house...

Double Duty

Hi, Erik: Yes, you may fly another smaller flag below the U.S. flag on the same staff. It’s important that they do not touch, and the separation distance should be about 15% of the length of the U.S. flag (in this case, 9 inches), although you can cheat on this a little if you wish. Thanks for asking!

Flags in a craft project

I have old single pane windows that I have been using for crafts. I want to use a flag in the window for display but it doesn't fit properly. I have tried folding it and wonder if it is inappropriate to cut it but make it fit nicely where it doesn't change flag meaning to display it nicely in the frame. I don't want to do anything to offend people because I believe it's beautiful when completed to display. I also would like to add to outside of glass a sentence reading "one nation under God". Is it alright to have something like that over it? Can you advise me if this would be appropriate?

Crafty Idea

Hi, Julie: This sounds like a beautiful idea, but unfortunately it is not proper to cut a flag like this. We would try to fold it such that it is “hanging” vertically, with the union in the upper left corner as you face it. Usually it is not proper to place lettering or anything else in front of the flag that would interfere with the full flag receiving a full viewing (aka full respect), but since this is more or less a work of art, we would probably look the other way. Good luck!

American flag as art?

Your answer to Crafty Idea is not right. I'm a Viet Nam Vet and would find it really hard to "look the other way" just because someone considers it "art". I was 19 in Nam and felt like 30 in a few weeks. We lost good friends that year. Ssgt. Wissigg's and A1C Davis's family got a flag...not a piece of "art". They both had children and wives.

proper angle

I have two flags I fly on either side of my front door I walk through them comming and going what is the proper angle they should be hung from the house.I believe it to be 45 degrees am I correct.

A Matter of Degrees

Hi, Pete: Great question! Yes, 45 degrees definitely works. The two considerations are that the flag must fly/hang freely and not touch anything else, and the rule of thumb is that in still air, at least half of the flag should be viewable (i.e, unfurled). Thanks for asking!

Empty Flag Pole

Hello. I am rather bent out of shape about this ... the American Flag was taken down in my town over 4 weeks ago and has not been replaced. I understand they can be taken down for replacement or cleaning, but it is not customary to 'replace' it with another one? I can't get any straight answers from our town officials as to what is going on. Please tell me what the appropriate procedure is. Thank you!

Absence Makes the Heart ...

Hi, Angela: Thank you for caring so much about this. Whether or when your town flies the flag is up to them. Perhaps it was being flown incorrectly (unlit at night, nonweatherproof flag subject to elements, tattered) and they wanted to do the right thing. Perhaps not putting a flag back up is a budgetary thing. Perhaps the pole or halyard is not trustworthy. Perhaps no one knows why it is not back up. We would suggest getting your local American Legion or VFW to go to bat for you – and all of us. Thanks again!

Thin blue line

Starting to hear of people modifying the American Flag with a blue line to honor the service of the police. Was wondering if this is considered appropriate? Thanks for all of your thoughtful answers to everyone's question. Very interesting and helpful.

Nice thought, but . . .

Hi, Paul: You’re welcome! And to answer your question: While the sentiment and practice of modifying the flag to honor police are obviously well-intentioned, doing so is inappropriate. Thanks for asking!

Adjusting the size of the flag

My friend wants me to shorten the end of the flag due to where he wants to hang it. This would make sure it doesn't touch the railing. Then he wants to insert a pole in the bottom that was shortened so that it will hang firmly down. I am not sure if that is advisable because it will alter the dimensions of the flag. We do not plan on cutting the flag, just folding it up and stitching it to be shorter. Please give me your advice to 'do the right thing'. Thank you!

Time to Rethink

Hi, Gerri: Thank you for caring so much to ask these questions. Your instincts are correct. It is not proper to shorten the length of the U.S. flag disproportionately. While you will find flags with many different proportions for the relationship between the length and width – and to some extent, it is OK if they are off by a little – the correct ratio is 1.9:1. That is, a flag that is 24 inches high officially should be 45.6 (24 x 1.9) inches long. Regarding the insertion of a rod to serve as a uniformly distributed weight and straightener so that the flag will hang down perfectly flat, you would think that this would be a no-brainer OK. However, this notion runs counter to one of the underlying principles of flying the U.S. flag, which is that it should fly freely and be free, like our country. Thanks again!

How Long to Leave Flag Out??

My neighbors put out their flags on the 9th for Veterans Day. It is now going to be the 17th and they are still flying their flags!
How long is the proper amount of days to leave my flag out??

Great Question!

Hi, RIO: It’s never too late to answer this, and we don’t mean to be “cute” with you, but the proper amount of days to leave your flag out is 365! If you’ve got a flag, don’t wait for an occasion – fly it! Thanks for asking!

When to fly the American Flag

I fly mine ALL the time. But at the beginning it says from sunrise to sunset. Except at night on special occasions. It's stated here to this gentlemans question. You stated. 365 days a year. What is it? I fly mine ALL the time because ALL THE ISSUES WE ARE GOING THROUGH NOW !

Flying it from my vehicle

I have a 7ft pole and the flag is mounted at the top to fly freely, but I want to fly it from my vehicle the pole has its own mounting stop on my truck 2 ft down, to make the flag fly at 5ft, the flag is a 3X5 flag. Is there a limit/height requirement on how high it's allowed to fly on my vehicle?
It secured in and is strong and sturdy and holds up to freeway/highway speeds. I want to fly it but don't want to get a ticket for it when I see other vehicles flying theirs and a lot taller than 4.5-5ft. Please someone tell me height requirements if there is any

I have requested for a 5x8

I have requested for a 5x8 cotton flag be flown over the States Capitol in honor of my sons beginning Crucible date (for the Marines). This flag will be flown and sent to me. Can I embroider via a sewing machine, "In honor of...." and then his name?

Can anyone help me with this

Can anyone help me with this question. We are trying to raise our red flag which is to be placed under the American flag. We how ever can't find the correct way to hang it. For those who don't know what a red flag is. It means extreme fire and weather. This flag is to be hung at our fire station. Does anyone know the correct answer and where we as a fire agency can find it.

Hi, Rh: Thank you for asking

Hi, Rh: Thank you for asking this question, although we're not exactly sure what it is! Although it is not customary to fly an event flag below the U.S. flag, there is nothing wrong with it. Your red flag will be attached to the same halyard as the U.S. flag, but below it. A good rule of thumb for separation distance is 15% of the length of the U.S. flag. So if your U.S. flag were 6 feet across (72 inches), the separation distance would be 10.8 inches. If you are talking about flying them from separate staffs, then it is OK to have them at the same height, although we would recommend flying the red one slightly lower. In this case, if you were inside the fire station looking out at the street, the U.S. flag would be on your right, with the red flag to the left of it. Looking from the street, the U.S. flag would be on the left. Hope this helps!

My company has 3 equal height

My company has 3 equal height flag poles in a triangle pattern with lights.
the flags are:

USA
POLAND
Connecticut (State)

I know the USA flag goes in front.
Where should the others be placed in the back row of two?
Can all 3 flags be the same height?

Thanks !

Hi, Tab: Interesting! Yes,

Hi, Tab: Interesting! Yes, assuming that the U.S. flagpole position is clearly front, first and foremost, then you are OK there. Imagine a triangle with the base a the bottom. The top point is #1. The bottom left is #2. The bottom right is #3. #1 is the U.S., highest. #2 and #3 are the same height, but lower than #1. The Polish flag would go on #3. Thanks for asking!

In our church, we are proud

In our church, we are proud Americans which also honor Israel. They have 4 flags, 2 US flags and 2 Israel flags. They usually display them on the stage in this order: on the speakers left-first Israel, then US to its left; on the speakers right-first Israel, then US to its right. Is this okay or how should it be changed when our associate likes all 4 on the stage. Also the Israel flags are slightly smaller than the US flags if that helps with the answer. We want to be respectful.

Hi, TJ: Great question --

Hi, TJ: Great question -- thanks to you and the congregation for bringing it up. What you describe is incorrect. In each pair of flags, the U.S. flag should be to the speaker's right. So, from the audience, from left to right, it would be U.S., Israel, [speaker], U.S., Israel. Thanks again!

So today my Sergeant major

So today my Sergeant major told me I wasn't allowed to fly my american flag because when not moving or parked it touches my tailgate. How true is this? Am I not allowed to? Is there a rule against it? I know it says not to drape. But what about when a flag hangs on a pole on a not so windy day?

Taken from above: "It should

Taken from above: "It should never touch anything beneath it..."

He is right when your flag is

He is right when your flag is draped from a pole it is supposed to be free flowing not touching ground water merchandise. If it touches your tail gate you need to a raise the pole until the flag doesn't touch or be remove it. I would prefer u do a. Raise that flag up. Always fly that flag in honor and with respect.

I have a casket mounted on

I have a casket mounted on trailer that I pull with my bike. I want to have the flag proffessionally painted on it with a plaque that reads; a reminder to you, of all who paid the ultimate price....for your freedom. Would that be tacky, disrespectful, or just plain wrong thing to do? I want to honor the fallen, but don't want to piss anyone off.

As a former service member i

As a former service member i personally think that is a perfect tribute to our fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country

Does the Flag Code MATTER

Does the Flag Code MATTER these days? Of course it matters, but does it matter as much as it used to in civilian life?

This is an honest question. It’s not about the values the flag symbolizes or the historical events some of its elements refer to. It’s not about whether it’s good to show respect for the American Flag. Of course it is. This is not my question. I personally try to always follow the Flag Code. It’s not the question.

The discussion on these pages is mostly about following the Flag Code. However, the Flag Code is a voluntary guide. As important as it may be, in civilian life most people haven’t heard of it. Some want to show respect to the flag but do it in ways inconsistent with the strict interpretation of the Flag Code. It’s only a voluntary guideline and people have the right to do what they want, including burning the American flag. And some Americans have been shown on TV doing exactly that this year.

Those who care about the flag and what it stands for are usually happy to see the flag displayed even in ways contrary to the Flag Code, as long as the intent is good. There are exceptions where, regardless of the intent, the display ends up being clearly disrespectful of the flag. There are also good people who believe that no deviation from the strict interpretation of the Flag Code is permissible. This opinion has been expressed on these pages by a number of people. However, outside of the military and some parts of the government, the Flag Code is at most a guideline.

I’m conflicted here.

What about a person who has the flag flying 24 hours a day, all year round, with no illumination at night? This can be seen as a violation of the Flag Code if the strict literal interpretation is used. Let’s say there is also some other technical violation. Let’s say the person is not complying with the strict interpretation of the Flag Code. Should anyone go and tell that person it’s disrespectful to the flag and what the flag stands for? Should anyone go and say to this person, “What you’re doing is wrong! You’re showing disrespect to the flag! You probably don’t intend it, so please change what you’re doing, and please do it right now. This is important!” It’s obvious that no disrespect is intended by this person. What is it turns out this person is an old lady who has a US flag always flying in honor of her son who died defending our country?

What about American athletes who often wrap themselves in flags after victory? They surely don’t mean disrespect. It’s practically become a customary way for many athletes to show their patriotism and pride in being Americans. This too is a clear technical violation of the Flag Code that has been pointed out and condemned on these pages.

What about wearing a t-shirt with American flag printed on it? The strict interpretation still says it’s a US flag.

To what degree are violations of the US Flag Code are relevant in the civilian life? It’s an honest question and not criticism of those who insist on always sticking to the strict interpretation. I understand that point of view too, and I understand it very well. Most of the people who hold it have been in the military.

We seem to be seeing fewer and fewer people who would display American flag at all. Of those who do display the flag with the intent to be respectful and to express their patriotism and their feelings for what the flag stands for, many do it in ways that, based on the Flag Code, may appear lacking respect. Is this perfectly OK because the Flag Code is a voluntary guideline and people have the freedom even to burn the flag as an act of protest?

Again, it’s an honest question.

I have a question, may seem

I have a question, may seem odd, but a question nonetheless. When a flag passes you in a parade, you remove your hat until it passes, that I know. Now, I walk 5 miles, three times a week for exercise and when I pass a house with a flag out front, would it be respectful if I removed my hat as I pass that flag, or walk by with my hat on?

According to guidelines u

According to guidelines u remove your hat or salute when raising or lowering and as it passes u by in a parade. Respectful to remove hat while walking by yes but not necessary.

I have seen the flag flying

I have seen the flag flying at half staff & it looks as if it is too low. What is the correct placement of the flag? Is the top of the flag supposed to be at the halfway point of the staff? Or is the halfway point of the flag supposed to be at the halfway point of the staff? Or is it another way that I haven't mentioned. Thank you in advance.

top of the flag should be at

top of the flag should be at the halfway point on the staff

Is it possible the staff is

Is it possible the staff is too short for the size of the flag, and this makes it appear the flag is too low and too close to the ground? Usually you can't tell the difference between the two flag positions you mention, unless you're the one who raises and lowers the flag. If the staff short, the difference is noticeable to passersby.

Should the colors be

Should the colors be presented and then posted for the duration of a benefit concert in a bar? A small gathering in what is considered a dive bar, specifically. Seems to me the wrong environment for display of the colors.

We would like to hang a flag

We would like to hang a flag in our children's bedroom. Can they hang it with nails? We have searched flag etiquette and found nothing against using nails. However I found that even using brass tacks would be defacing or causing damage to the flag.

Best is: ALL flags have

Best is: ALL flags have mouting strips, usually with at least one grommet at the top middle and bottom, some have4 or 5 (3' x 5' flag, for instance). If there are no grommets, mount them at the head end (from field corner to bottom stripe. Then use a dowel rod fitting alternately between the holes of the grommets, longer than the width of the flag so you have about 6 inches protruding out both ends of the width of the flag along it's mounting strip. Then hang the flag usint eh dowl ends on hooks. Hang the flag this way so that tjhe field is to your left, as it looks hanging on the wall, and stripes down.

You could hang the flag hirzontally, same way, some flags comes with a pocket along the top (when the field is at the top, of course, as it should be). Move a dowel through that pocket, again a dowel that will protrude out both sides of the length-wise glafg, and mount to the wall same as above.

Sewing grommets or pockets to a flag for hanging doesNOT desacrate the flag, but use white material and extend it from the edges of the flag - dont folde the flag to create the pockets - use new, extra material for this purpose.

You can also use binder clips (office supplies) along the hanging edge, with care to protect the flag from the metal pinching into the flag material, that might casue ripping.

i have a long porch with 2

i have a long porch with 2 separate flag poles attached to the railing. Does it matter which side the American Flag is on. the flag of Poland is the same size. I do not want to be disrespectful

YEs, as per the code! US Flag

YEs, as per the code! US Flag to the RIGHT of the other, second flag (only when two flags present, when more than two, the US Flag needs to be in the center andf higher of an even amount of others, and ahead of the middle flag of an odd number and higher of others)

Why are flags printed on our

Why are flags printed on our postal stamps when regulation presents that the flag should not be printed on paper at all thank you

We have a family run farm and

We have a family run farm and processing company. We recently installed a flag pole and we are proudly displaying the U.S. flag that is illuminated at night. My question is whether or night flying a flag with our Company logo underneath the U.S. flag is appropriate or if it would be disrespctful

Not at all, the Scouts (Girls

Not at all, the Scouts (Girls AND Boys) doit for their logo flags. American Hotels does it at their Linconshire HQ. Marriott Resort Hotels do it.

But, do NOT light the logo flag, light ONLY the US Flag. OR atleast, the US flag should be obviously brighter than the other flag.

I am a Disabled Veteran and

I am a Disabled Veteran and if I remember correctly there is one time that another Flag may fly above the American Flag. That is the Chaplin's/Church Flag.

That's exactly right. This

That's exactly right. This specific exception is in the Flag Code where it says this is allowed "during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy."

This is temporary while religious services are being held and is limited to the Navy. It's not in other branches of military service. The two authorized pennants right now are Christian and Jewish. However, raising any pennant during religious services is becoming less common. Placing it above the American flag is now rare. In part it's probably the desire to avoid the problem of creating and flying pennants for other religious denominations and the less traditional christian denominations. The Navy now has chaplains representing several christian denominations as well as more recently Buddhist and Muslim chaplains.

The one religious ceremony that still customarily has a church (Christian or Jewish) pennant flying is burial at sea. Even then it's not necessary flown above the American Flag.

The Flag Code seems to refer

The Flag Code seems to refer to taking down the flag for the night, unless it's illuminated, only when the flag is flown on a staff.

The Code not entirely clear, but the standard interpretation appears to be that when an all-weather flag is placed outside vertically on a wall, window, fence, balcony or door, it can be left for 24 hours even if there is no light at night. Is this correct?

The flag is fixed in a vertical position (attached at four points) and not flown on a flagstaff. I'm pretty sure it's all right not to have it illuminated at night, but there is also additional concern that some people would think it's wrong. They might see this as disrespect to the flag when the exact opposite is intended.

It goes without saying that the flag is positioned vertically on a wall, window or door the Union (blue) so that it is to the observer's left. The question is only about the lack of illumination at night.

Happy Forth!

It's not fair to people who

It's not fair to people who want the flag to stay up.we are proud of our flag and it should stay up.it has nothing to do with blacks and whites.

Thanks. I feel the same way.

Thanks. I feel the same way.

As far as your other comment ("It has nothing to do with..."), I don't understand why you've written it but I fully agree that it has nothing to do with such matters. Maybe my accidentally spelling the word "union" with capital U, as "Union," has contributed to misunderstanding. Lower case is preferred (union), and my accidentally capitalizing the first letter may have resulted in confusion. It doesn't matter though. Thank you for your answer.

I'm not entirely sure everybody thinks this way though. Some people who have spent many years in the service believe it's important to follow the Flag Code to the letter and anything else is disrespectful. Even then there are seem to be various interpretations. You can see some of this in the discussion below. These are the people neither you nor I want to offend even by accident and regardless of whose interpretation is right. It's why I asked the question.

Thanks again. It's much appreciated.

"The Flag Code seems to refer

"The Flag Code seems to refer to taking down the flag for the night, unless it's illuminated, only when the flag is flown on a staff."

The "only when the flag is flown at half staff" part of what you assert, which is correct, does not make sense and doesnt belog in the same sentence, for clarification.

"The Code not entirely clear, but the standard interpretation appears to be that when an all-weather flag is placed outside vertically on a wall, window, fence, balcony or door, it can be left for 24 hours even if there is no light at night. Is this correct?"

The code is clear that the use of AMBIENT, existing outdoor lighting that usually is found in those non-staff places, allows for the flag being out when it is dark out. MAinly the flag should be visible from anywhere it can be seen during the day, also at night via SOME kind of lighting.

"The flag is fixed in a vertical position (attached at four points) and not flown on a flagstaff. I'm pretty sure it's all right not to have it illuminated at night, but there is also additional concern that some people would think it's wrong. They might see this as disrespect to the flag when the exact opposite is intended."

No, even in that instance, it should as visible at night, in that hung position, as it is at daytime.

"......."

"Happy Forth!" FOURTH. May the fourth be with you.

Hi, I was wondering if it

Hi, I was wondering if it were acceptable to put an American flag on my bedroom wall?

Hi, Roboat: Most certainly!

Hi, Roboat: Most certainly! Regardless of whether you hang it vertically or horizontally, just make sure that the blue field is in the upper left corner. Good for you! And thanks for asking!

Is it wrong to wash the flag

Is it wrong to wash the flag in a washing machine or by hand?

Either is fine and allowed -

Either is fine and allowed - nothing in the code against it.

Hi there, I saw that if i

Hi there, I saw that if i have a USA car flag, that it should be on the right window of the vecihle and not the left. Is it just the proper way orcan i put it on the left window of my car?

From a view (frontal of house

From a view (frontal of house or car) the Flag should be placed on the left. This would be considered while viewing from the street forward toward object .

And, the added benfit that

And, the added benfit that that correct placement is the least obstructing for safe driving. And dont allow rthe flag to be visible to YOU through the window, as THAT would be amn obstruction to safe driving. The bottom of the flag haning losse should be just out of sight to you, as driver.

AS AN OLDER EAGLE SCOUT, I'M

AS AN OLDER EAGLE SCOUT, I'M OFTEN ASKED THE PROPER WAY TO PLAY BUGLE SONGS FOR THE RAISING AND LOWERING OF THE US FLAG AT MY YACHT CLUB. ALSO WHEN TO PLAY TAPS AND TO THE COLORS OR THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER. MOST WEBSITES DON'T GIVE THIS CORRECT PROTOCOL. CAN YOU HELP?
DOUG HYER
DOUGLASHYER@GMAIL.COM
(516)350-2990

I want to make a memorial

I want to make a memorial wall for family that have served and passed. I have 4 flags in display cases and 4 framed military portraits. My question is this, I want to know if the cases can be displayed in a square. that means that 2 would be on their sides and 1 would be upside down. the portraits would be next to it, 2 on each side of flag case square.

I would say no. The full code

I would say no. The full code from the senate mentions that the right (or 60 degree) angle of a display case flag should be pointing upwards. You can, however, put one above the other so that there is a space inbetween them and they are both pointing upwards.

I work at a senior center I

I work at a senior center I have been working on a wall oh honor for our vets. The wall has their pics and 2 flags in cases one from a gentleman that served in WWI and one that presented to another gentleman that flew over the White House. In front of the wall we have 3 flag poles. Looking at the flags from the front far left is the POW/MIA flag, center in the US flag on a slightly taller pole and far right is the state flag. It is very important to me that I display them correctly. I have been told the POW and state flag are in wrong place I have also been told that they are right. I have researched it and my interruption of what I have found is the POW flag is to the left when looking at them straight on. It is also important that I have it right do to the fact that I am a MoM to a Marine and I should know these things lol. Thank you in advance.

You should keep them how they

You should keep them how they are with the PoW flag to the viewers left. The flag's right is a position of honour compared to the left and also if you were to remove the Pow/MIA flag, so that there would be only the US and the State flag they would remain in proper position. :-)

Incorrect per code: When more

Incorrect per code:
When more than two flags (the US being one of them) the US flag should be higher than the others (you have that), slightly AHEAD of (you dont mention that part of the code), and IN THE CENTER. The CENTER is the highest honor placement in a grouping of flags. Per the code.

I work at a large school and

I work at a large school and we have three flag poles, all the same height. They back up to a wall and are very prominent. We put the American flag in the middle because just above that wall is the football stadium and those flags serve as the ones to turn to for the National Anthem for games, graduations, track meets, etc. So if I use the rule "nothing to the right of the American flag", one direction will always be wrong. Is there a correct way to do this? Certainly the direction facing out towards the yard in the school gets more visibility.

You should have them in

You should have them in proper formation to be seen from within the stadium if the stadium does not have staffs of its own. I would recommend that the school also have a large staff of it's own because it is mentioned within the code that all schools should have one directly infront of or to the right of the entrance (facing the entrance). :-)

In addition, The US flag , of

In addition, The US flag , of these three in this specifcially mentioned grouping, must be in the middle. THe US flag staff (the middle one) is supposed tobe higher and slightly ahead of (at it's base, about a foot is enough). The flag should be at least it's bottom just above the top of the next lowest flag or flag grouping's tops.

If adding a height exention to the center (US flag) pole is not a viable option, later purchasing a larger US flag (larger than any other) is the next best option. I suspect that your US flag IS larger than the other two?

We have a flag mounted on a

We have a flag mounted on a pole hanging from our front porch. Is it okay to leave it out there at night and is it okay to leave it out all summer? Thanks so much!

The flag is meant to fly

The flag is meant to fly during daylight from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flag staffs. This is why you see the flag take down by schools at the end of each day. If the flag is flown at night, it should be illuminated with a light or light source.

It is my understanding a

It is my understanding a flag, flown at night, must illuminated. I believe from below. It wouldn't be hard to research the answer.

Should be illumintaed, does

Should be illumintaed, does not have to be. If not, then should be lowered, then removed for the night. All-weather or not (and especially if not!)

We have our flag displayed

We have our flag displayed 24/7 and use an inexpensive solar charged spotlight placed in the flower bed below to illuminate it. You can find them at any hardware or big box store for very little $.

Hi, does anyone know if it's

Hi, does anyone know if it's ok to make an old 48 star flag into a poncho or blanket? The pattern would keep it in one piece, I don't want to burn it! Thank you :)

The flag is never worn as an

The flag is never worn as an article of clothing. The proper way to dispose of a flag is burning. Contact your local VFW or Boy Scouts of America.

I remember being told as a

I remember being told as a child that the respectful way to dispose of a U.S. flag was by burning it,then flag burning became very controversial and was general thought of as disrespectful. Is it still proper to burn a flag to dispose of it?

Yes, burning the flag is most

Yes, burning the flag is most proper. However, you dont just light a match and drop it in a barrel. You first remove the blue jack (scissors is fine, but make sure they are clean) and also cut the stripes into seperate strips and make a neat pile. Then it can be burned.

To understand the Fag Code,

To understand the Fag Code, it is best to understand the US Flag as "living." I don't mean to be silly, but would one put one's grandmother out on the lawn, at the curb, during a rain storm? No. Neither should you decorate your lawn with flags, even though it might look patriotic, it devalues the flag making it an object for our enhancement rather than a "living being" for adoration. In the same way you shouldn't reuse you flag making it into something else that would cover you or the ground in a picnic. I understand the sentimental value of this, but it is inappropriate. A fitting burial for an old flag (through burning) is appropriate, even more appropriate than folding it into a drawer for storage.

I suspect you have a typo in

I suspect you have a typo in your post. One never knows for sure nowadays. There're all kinds of "jokes" made online, where real identities are not known. The meaning is certainly changed completely here. But I assume yours is simply a typo that may be corrected soon and in the future won't be seen by whoever reads this reply to your original post. All the best

I thought I read that you

I thought I read that you cannot carry the flag horizontally, yet on many occasions I see at sports venues a huge flag being carried across the field. Is it or is it not ok to do and if not, why aren't these people being told they cannot do this?

In the end, the flag code is

In the end, the flag code is here just so that we respect the flag. If done ceremonialy, the flag can be carried by many people "in a manor that would insinuate awe and patriotism amung the viewers." If the flag is to large for a staff.

having a little trouble. Want

having a little trouble. Want to hang two flags (in the front window) for my husband but not sure which one is supposed to be on the right. Is it the American flag on the observers left and the "don't tread on me" on the right?

No never! The American flag

No never! The American flag is to the observer's right so, outside see it on the right, remember the right is "right" just like you wear your wedding band on the right, the higher ranking officer or enlisted walks to the right.

The American flag should

The American flag should always be on the left as observed by the audience.

But, only when by itself or

But, only when by itself or with ONE other flag in view.

Mayo is wrong!! The flag is

Mayo is wrong!! The flag is to the observers left

I think it's what he meant to

I think it's what he meant to write but it came out wrong. It also explains what seems to be a mistake with the left/right hand. Everybody is probably on the same page here. Just a misunderstanding.

I wear my wedding band on my

I wear my wedding band on my left hand...have I been wrong for 43 years now?

The answer by “James mayo 13”

The answer by “James mayo 13” is incorrect. In the situation described, if the purpose of the American Flag display is to be viewed from the outside of the window, then the American Flag is to be to the viewer’s left. Same as if the American Flag is displayed from a staff on a stage. By the way, "James mayo 13" also said the wedding band is worn on the right hand. In the U.S., this would also be incorrect. The tradition is for the wedding band to be worn on the left hand, closest to the heart, although this is purely a personal preference.

The wedding band is usally

The wedding band is usally worn on a finger of the left hand, not the whole hand - unless you have an unusually large ring - which is really a bracelet.

The "place of honor" is

The "place of honor" is always to the right side. If on the same level as the observers (crowd, audience, etc.) then it is to their right. If, however, it is on a stage, in other words raised higher than the crowd, it is to be at the speaker's immediate right. That is how I understand the code.

This is usually not a problem, but the Flag Code for the Christian flag is identical, so in a church, which flag receives the higher (right side) honor?

As a Cubmaster and

As a Cubmaster and Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America I take great pride teaching our future leaders the correct way of preparing a tattered flag so it can be retired by fire. And during the process each scouts takes his time for each color, each star and each grommet that goes into the fire.....

I didn't see any reference to

I didn't see any reference to the Olympic Game in the collection of comments. I hate to watch the winners wrap up in our flag like it was a blanket. Then they stand as the National Anthem is played as though they were winners. That's when the judges should intervene. Am I wrong? (US Navy retired, proud)

according to Wikipedia (not

according to Wikipedia (not the greatest source but the easiest to find) The flag should not be used as "wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery", or for covering a speaker's desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general (exception for coffins). Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes.

If it's a non-US territory, I

If it's a non-US territory, I can't see how the US flag etiquette applies, only general flag etiquette - and in all fairness, most (all?) other flags' etiquette is not as hardcore or 'OCD' as the US flag and it should be treated with the same amount of respect as other flags... but not any more.

So the flag with the gold

So the flag with the gold fringe on it hanging in a court room is not a true United States flag. So that would make that court room not a United States court. Hmmmm.....probably why the scumbag judge says, this is my court room.

"Gold fringe is used on the

"Gold fringe is used on the National flag as an honorable enrichment only. It is not regarded as an integral part of the flag and its use does not constitute an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statutes.

Records of the Department of the Army indicate that fringe was used on the National flag as early as 1835 and its official use by the Army dates from 1895. There is no record of an Act of Congress or Executive Order which either prescribes or prohibits the addition of fringe, nor is there any indication that any symbolism was ever associated with it. The use of fringe is optional with the person or organization displaying the flag."
1925 Attorney General quote

Thank you SO much for this.

Thank you SO much for this. When I was in grade school, the 8th graders were responsible on a rotating basis for raising and lowering the flag every day. When I lived outside the U.S. for a few years, the sight of the flag always lifted my heart. And my Dad was a WW2 Marine veteran, who taught his kids proper care and use of the flag. Your article brings all that order and comfort back to me :-)

I deploy soon, my family

I deploy soon, my family recently acquired a flag to fly in front of the house - perfect, now my son wants embroidered "until they all come home" on it, In honor of me until I come home. Would it be entirely wrong to have this done? Even if it's with a professional embroiderer.
Solid black letters with the above saying.

Hi, Lilith: It's a great

Hi, Lilith: It's a great thought, but totally not allowed. Thanks for asking -- and serving!

Thank you for your service.

Thank you for your service. Per flag code, nothing can be emboidered or added to the stars and stripes.

You could have a seperae

You could have a seperae banner made up and hang it from the bottom clasp oof the flag.

One should NEVER embroider

One should NEVER embroider anything on the American flag, maybe instead hav a small embroidered flag to have with the American flag

Lilith, Thank you for your

Lilith, Thank you for your many sacrifices. Sending endless love, hugs, and prayers all the way from Texas, From my family to yours.

I love the quote y'all have selected. May I use it as well? It's Perfect.

Thank you for your service,

Thank you for your service, and I know your son means well, but the flag can never be defaced with embroidry.

Is it ok to run with a small

Is it ok to run with a small flag? I'm a runner and like to carry my flag with me. People respond well to this and I do it to instill patriotism in myself and others. But is it technically ok?

Hi, Andy: It is generally

Hi, Andy: It is generally fine to run with the flag -- actually, it's a super thing that you do! That being said, you should be carrying it on a small staff (we assume you are just talking about a little wooden dowel type of thing). Of course, wearing it is not allowed, and sort of carrying it with a corner crumpled up in your hand is frowned upon. Similarly, it should not be carried when running, even if on a staff, if in some way it is going to become dirty or sweaty or otherwise bedraggled. And we do hope that when you cross the finish line you hold it as high as you can!

Is there an "official" siting

Is there an "official" siting for this? I have man acquaintances who run with large American flags in mud runs and the flags typically become soiled during the races. I feel this is not honoring the flag, they feel otherwise.

No, they should not. THere

No, they should not. THere are running caps (like painters caps, very light wieght and thin, cotton) that have a mechaniosm on the clasp in backl that allows for a small flag to be placed. This way it is highwer than you , out of the way of sweat, etc.

To my understanding the flag

To my understanding the flag can be mended as needed....what if the flag has been badly torn do to extreme weather?

Hi, Michael: You are correct

Hi, Michael: You are correct -- mending that is done carefully and neatly is certainly allowed, and flying a mended flag is certainly better than flying no flag at all. You are wise to recognize that it is a matter of degree, though. It is very hard even for a professional to mend a badly tattered flag, because often there is missing material, even if only threads, in areas where it is really frayed, and patching is seriously discouraged. The bottom line is how the flag looks when it is flown. If mends are going to make it look really shriveled or wrinkled, then it might be time to properly retire it in favor of a new volunteer. Great question -- thanks for asking!

So I am thinking wearing a

So I am thinking wearing a Stars & Stripes scarf is NOT the right thing to do, correct?

Hi, Denise: Correct, that is

Hi, Denise: Correct, that is a no-no. Thanks for caring and asking!

Ive also read the flag code

Ive also read the flag code and interpret the rule to be a flag should not be worn. so a scarf should not be made out of an actual flag. A commercially available item of patriotic theme is not against the Flag rules.

Thank you for the flag rules.

Thank you for the flag rules.

I am so tired of seeing young couples, the guy an obvious serviceman, wrapped up with their girlfriend in the American flag and posted on Pinterest. Or baby bumps, draped in the flag. Do they not teach them in the service that this is disrespectful? And then, other people get on and pin it, squealing how they "are SO getting their pic taken like this!" Labeled patriotic photo shoots!

Hi, Patricia: You're welcome,

Hi, Patricia: You're welcome, and thank YOU for caring enough to visit them!

If there are two flags on a

If there are two flags on a flag pole and the top flag is an American flag, may the lower flag be larger in size than the American flag?

Hi, Bellman: It should not be

Hi, Bellman: It should not be larger. Thanks for flying your flag!

If it is temporary and that

If it is temporary and that is all you can get for now, there is nothing wrong with it. But, making the US flag prominent here is the key point.
One way to do that viasually is to hoist the US flag as high as possible on the staff, then hoist the larger flag so that it is at least one US flag's (yours, specifically) height AWAY from (lower than) the US flag above. Make a large, open space between them on the staff.
Althught you might think that would make the larger flag look even larger, because lowering it would make it closer, that affect doesnt happen. What haoppens is, the LOWER flag becomes "invisible" to the tallest flag. It's a "line of sight" thing of vertical acuity (which is not, but should be, on the DMV Visual Acuity test!)

Hi I am flying my flag it is

Hi I am flying my flag it is mounted on the front of my house on the brick I want to fly my 911 flag it is smaller but facing the house the 911 flag would be to the right both are on poles do I switch places and mount 911 to the left or can I fly stars&stripes to the right facing the bldg. Tks Freddy USMC

Hi, Freddie: Facing a

Hi, Freddie: Facing a building, a U.S. flag on a staff should be to the far left. Thanks for asking, and Semper Fi!

I own a club and on certain

I own a club and on certain nights we have an older crowd and they like us to play the national anthem to start the night off and the DJ does this with out a second thought. We had a patron get deployed to Iraq he took our flag with him in 2006 and returned safly in 2008 with our flag and a very nice certificate we proudly bought a nice case and framed the certificate and had lights put in to highlight it in the bar and to protect it. Tonight a man said it was disrespectful to look at that flag while the national anthem played... Any thought on this ??

Hi, PAkid: Verrry interesting

Hi, PAkid: Verrry interesting question, more complicated than may appear on the surface. Your patron is wrong -- but he may be right. In fact, it is disrespectful NOT to look at the flag during the national anthem. However, we suspect that this has more to do with the bar than with the flag. Is it OK to look at an encased flag during the anthem, as the main object of respect (vs. an uncased one)? Yes. Is it OK to look at a flag nicely lit and displayed in/at a bar? Yes. However, perhaps a better place for your obviously tasteful display would be on a wall outside the bar, such that Uncle Sam's banner is not juxtaposed to Uncle Jack Daniels' bottle. In any event, it sounds like your club is full of very patriotic folks -- congratulations and thanks to all! Please pass that along for us!

I have seen in some

I have seen in some establishments, and yes even respectfully in bars, where they have a corner of honor, or a wall of honor, done in beautiful and patriotic ways. (Not squeezed in between Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, and not in between the Coors Light sign and a sign that states: We like our women here like women on European beaches... toplessROFL--not!) I had put in my reply NOT outside due to the potential of appearance of marketing. Outside it can appear to be saying, "look how patriotic we are, look what we did, come in because of this!" Sometimes even the appearance of impropriety need be avoided. However, a modest, but appropriate, honor on the inside- imho - simply states, "look at who we are and what we believe!" Just my way of looking at it! :-)

So sad that with anything,

So sad that with anything, especially such a beautiful and patriotic stormy as yours, that there will ALWAYS be a grumbled and a naysayers. I would say as long as the story is true (hate to go here, but is it notarized, or verified in some way other than talk certificate printed my the enlisted man?), and that it is displayed inside, as a tribute; as opposed to outside as a potential marketing ploy ( again, hated to go there, but haters will), you should be fine. As to looking with care for our country and those who defend it and with patriotism at a flag properly displayed is EXPECTED! Especially when the national anthem is played and or sung. How about a little very kindly worded education for ill-informed Mr Grumpy?!? ;-)

I have a three flag mount on

I have a three flag mount on the rear of my motorcycle. I fly the American flag in the center and higher than the other two flags. The other flags that I fly are the POW-MIA flag and the different branches of the armed services. What is the proper positioning of these flags? I also fly a flag for the Combat Veterans Association.

Hi Gery, if you get the

Hi Gery, if you get the answehere please email me , looks like we have the same flag mount on our bikes, the only thing I have found is The American flag in the center, the army does have regulation that its flag should be to the right from the viewers side and mia to the left . but dont qoute me on this

Hi, Gerry, and Fernando

Hi, Gerry, and Fernando below: "Higher than" when in the middle is perfect. When a number of flags are flown at the same height on the back of a bike, then the U.S. flag should sit on the "passenger" side. The flag always rides to its own right on a forward-moving vehicle. Thanks for asking and caring!

I was told that when the flag

I was told that when the flag is at half staff because of a death. that it should fly separately from the state and school flags? my school had it at half staff but have Ohio state flag under it and then the school flag.

Hi, Jackline: Regardless of

Hi, Jackline: Regardless of why a U.S. flag is at half-staff (death or otherwise), it does not need to fly separately from other flags. That being said, a lot depends on looks when other flags are below it. If the flagpole is short and the lower flags would seem unnaturally close to the ground (although if they are proportional to the pole, this shouldn't happen), then sometimes it is best to just remove one or more of the lower flags and temporarily fly the U.S. flag at half-staff alone. It is not disrespectful to the other flags to temporarily remove them, as the U.S. flag (and, conceptually, "what the U.S. flag wants to do") supersedes them anyway. Thanks for asking!

I am part of a law

I am part of a law enforcement honor guard. Recently at a change of command ceremony we were asked to post the colors for the event. I argued with the organizers of the event that honorees chairs should not be placed in a position whereas the colors in procession march behind the honorees' group. I felt that it is disrespectful to place those chairs in a more prominent position than the US colors. This caused the group to essentially have their backs to the honor guard carrying the US flag at the beginning of the ceremony. Please advise as to the proper etiquette for this type of situation.

Hi, Jose: This is an

Hi, Jose: This is an excellent -- and complicated -- question to answer. Thank you for caring so much to ask. Without knowing your exact setup this is difficult to respond to, but in general terms, you are correct: The colors should not be presented to the backs of people. However, there are many instances when this happens because of practical considerations, such as when colors are brought in from the back of a hall up the aisle or when because of physical constraints of the stage they are brought in behind a row of people on the stage rather than in front of them. The most important things are that the colors be treated with respect and placed properly for the ceremony itself. Thanks again!

We purchased a home and we

We purchased a home and we have a flag pole with the American flag flying. It has recently sustained a noticeable tear. I know we need to take the flag down, but what do we do with the torn flag? Also, is it disrespectful to have a flag pole but not fly a flag? Not that we do not want to, I am just thinking of the mean time of taking the current torn one down, if it is disrespectful to have no flag flying until we can replace it. Thank you for your help!

Contact the VFW or American

Contact the VFW or American Legion. They should take the damage flag.

There is nothing in the flag

There is nothing in the flag code about not flaying any flag on a pole or leaving a flag pole empty.

I have a few questions. My

I have a few questions. My g/f is St. Lucian and we want to fly both flags on our house on either side of our garage on a fixed flag pole. If facing the house/garage from the stree, which side should which flag be? Also, do we need to have lights in our yard aimed at the flag as to keep it lit up at night or do we have to take down the flag every night? (this is one of those flags that's on a stick that you insert into a fixed flag holder that you drill onto the side of your house). Thanks!

For your questions, you might

For your questions, you might check the actual U.S. code: See Title 4, Chapter 1, sections 6 and 7:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/U...
Based on this, it appears that for a residence in the United States, the U.S. and St. Lucian flags should be flown on different staffs, be of the same size and height, and the U.S. flag should be on the left as you are facing the garage (which would be on the U.S. flag's own right).
As for what to do after sunset, the code says, "It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness." So, it appears that you can either take the flags down each day at sunset, or install lights to illuminate them over night.
Please note, too, that if you have an all-weather flag, it is OK to keep it out in inclement weather. Otherwise, you should take it in during precipitation.
Perhaps the following might also help:
http://www.united-states-flag....
http://www.senate.gov/referenc...

Sorry it took so long to

Sorry it took so long to respond, I lost the page that I asked this on! o.O Thank you, all that was really helpfull :) Have a great day

Hello I have two questions.

Hello I have two questions. It's early but, I was wondering am I able to fly the original 13 Stars Old Glory for the 4th of July Celebration? Any my second question is I have a telescoping flag post that was installed. I have no idea how to fly the flag half mass. Am I still able to fly the flag or do I need to take it down. The flag is always at the top no matter how high or low I put the sections on the pole.

NO, just as long as the union

NO, just as long as the union field is in the same orientation as with the 50 (FIFTY) States version.

Just think twice before hanging a Confederate Flag on that day.

Is it OK to paint the

Is it OK to paint the representation of the American Flag on a building (Barn Face)

I could not find direct

I could not find direct mention of this usage in the Flag Code. There might be state or local laws concerning this, however. You might check at your town office. If this building is a private residential building, for non-commercial/non-advertising purposes, it might be OK, as long as the painted image is done respectfully, and, if painted horizontally, the union (blue section) is on the top left as you look at the image. Also, no other words, designs, or items should be painted or placed over the flag image.
The code says that the U.S. flag should not be used as advertising or as a "receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything," nor should it be printed/painted on temporary articles that will be discarded (such as napkins), or on wearing apparel (with a few exceptions).
For more information, you might be interested in:
http://www.senate.gov/referenc...

Recently my grandmother

Recently my grandmother passed down to me my grandfathers flag in its flag case from his memorial service 8 years ago. Would it be disrespectful to take the flag out of the case and hang it up on the wall in my music studio as a memorial to him? Just want to do the right thing. Thanks

Hi, Buck: It would be

Hi, Buck: It would be perfectly OK to do this. In general, the more prominently you can display the flag with the proper amount of respect, the better. Thanks for asking!

My husband and I bought a

My husband and I bought a double wide in a 55 and over mobile park in Florida, 5 years ago
Each year I buy a new American and Canadian flag to fly... one on each side, in flag pole holders attached to my house. My Lanai entrance faces the street where I put the American and the Canadian flies at the car port. same height. Is this OK?

Hi, Heather: It is OK to fly

Hi, Heather: It is OK to fly them at the same height, provided that the U.S. flag is on the left when viewed from the street or when viewed from the side of the building from which they are flown. And thanks for being so respectful as to get new ones each year--you do both countries proud!

Hi, my question is: is it ok

Hi, my question is: is it ok or disrespectful to drape a flag over an empty small casket to represent the fallen soldiers for a parade that honors veterans and fallen soldiers? Just wanting to do the right thing.

Hi, Brent: This is a great

Hi, Brent: This is a great question--thanks for asking! What you suggest is technically not proper. The solution would be to fly a small flag (such as the type on a dowel that you wave) vertically at the head of the little casket (even attach the rod to the short top side/end of the box if you want).

My father recently passed

My father recently passed away and I was presented with his flag, I have purchased
a case. I have his military picture and a rosary would it be proper to display this in the case with the flag? And is it o.k. to have his name and the branch etched on the glass of the flag case? Thank you.

Hi, Maxine: Putting things

Hi, Maxine: Putting things inside a flag case with the flag is sort of a gray area. As long as the flag remains the primary focus of respect, all is OK, and we have no doubt that you will place your father's photo and rosary in such a manner, so go for it. And yes, it is OK to etch the glass with the info you suggest (but just for the record, it is not OK to etch the glass with just anything). Thanks for asking!

Is it respectful to display

Is it respectful to display an American Flag in a flag case, if no one has passed away?

Hi, Matthue: Yes, it is!

Hi, Matthue: Yes, it is!

I would like to display our

I would like to display our American Flag at an indoor event and would like to find out if we could starch the flag so that it stands out from the flag pole (like flying in a breeze). I have looked at many different sites to find out if this could be done or if this would be disrespectful to our country and I haven't found any information on if this is o.k. or not. Again, I would like to honor our country and service men & women by having this flag at our event, but I also want to present it properly.

Thanks for your help.

Hi, Jeffry: This is a tricky

Hi, Jeffry: This is a tricky question that calls for a somewhat mystical answer, so please bear with us. Is it OK to starch a U.S. flag? Yes. Is it advisable to starch the livin' daylights out  of it for the purpose of having it "fly" flat? Well ... that may be another matter. While it is certainly true that we display our flag in different ways, e.g., from a staff, on a wall, folded in a triangle in a case, and so forth, it might be said that the "purest" form of display -- if that term can even be used -- is on a staff, gently billowing in the breeze (a la Star-Spangled Banner, although that was certainly shot up quite a bit). A clue can be found in the flag guidelines at top, in the phrase "aloft and flying freely" (the key word being "freely"). This is why you sometimes see fans directed at flags. But to starch it  into a boardlike banner, while technically OK, would probably not be ideal. Another thing to consider is that when people viewed such a flag, would their attention be drawn to its beauty and significance, as it always should be? Or to: How on Earth did they get it to fly like that? In any event, you get an A+ for asking this and even thinking about it -- thanks!

What you could do is "banner

What you could do is "banner hang:" the flag, but horizontally - contrary to the usual vertical hang, banner style.
What you would do is hang the flag along it's top with a dowel, thick enough to fit through a sewn pocket (some flags come with thes pockets pre-sewn) - add extra white material for the pcoekt, done merely fold the existing dflag material to make a pocket!
Then hang the dowel from each end of the dowel from nylon, 50 pound test fishline vertially. Then mount a "mast" next to the field side of the flag, to make it "look" as if it were hanging off the mast.
The ambient air movemtn in the room should give it just enough freeness to not be too distracting.
No more distracting than if hung vertically - which , is actully my preference here, as that does not get as much "awe" attention from a guessing crowd. Field to the flag's own right, recall!

I recently sang at the

I recently sang at the funeral of a veteran. Standing behind the casket, which was draped in the American flag, I stood before singing and placed lyrics of the song on the back side where it wasn't visible to the congregation, at the foot of the casket, as there was no podium or any other thing, save the casket, at the front of the funeral parlor. At the burial, I was told by a man " Don't you ever " lay " anything on the American flag again". Just wondering, was this a big deal? I left it there only until I finished singing, then removed it.

Hi, Darrell: Like beauty, the

Hi, Darrell: Like beauty, the "bigness" of a "deal" lies in the eyes of the beholder. Your tutor was technically correct, and no doubt his intentions were good, but he could have recognized that yours were, too -- and found a gentler way to impart his knowledge. And, while it is important to follow flag rules, it is often of value (and consolation) to consider possible extenuating circumstances and questions related thereto, such as: Would the departed veteran have minded? So although you did wrong, you also did a lot of right. Thank you for that and for this question.

Hi! My boyfriend is currently

Hi! My boyfriend is currently serving over seas. He is in the Air Force, and told me before they leave they can get flags flown behind the jets for family and friends if they want. I really want one but don't have a flag pole or any place to hang it. Are flag cases specifically for flags for fallen members? What are the guidelines for keeping a flown flag in a case?

Hi, Kelly Marie: Thank you

Hi, Kelly Marie: Thank you for this important question and for caring enough to ask it. Flag cases can be used for any properly folded and protected U.S. flag, not just one honoring the fallen. The key thing is to always treat and store the flag reverently and protect it fully, as it has protected you. Incidentally, you do not need to spend a lot of money on a formal flag case, especially if you will not be displaying. Any box that is clean and in good condition is OK -- for example, a jewelry box if it were big enough (do not bend the folded triangle flag) or a wooden case from a cutlery set. But treat the flag and its case with the utmost of care and respect, and you will always be doing the U.S. -- and USAF! -- proud.

I would like to fly a flag on

I would like to fly a flag on my property on the appropriate days. However, there is no good place on the front of my house to mount a bracket.

I do have two tall cedar trees in front of the house. One of them displays my house number.

Would it be proper to mount a pole bracket to a cedar tree about 9' up?

Or would it be better to simply hang the flag out of the third floor windows?

Nine feet high? Well, try

Nine feet high? Well, try lighting it for night, or have a 6' ladder handy each time you wnat to take it down at night. A tree is a fine "pole", but setting a pulley and halyard to it, that would be odd.

DONT (out of a respect for nature) mount the flag mount to the tree directly with nails - instead use two clear tree straps (used in commerciaand residential tree lighting systems, very inexeposnive), one at the top of the mount, one below, and make it taught! Check the taughtness once per year, so as not to bind the tree growth.

The honor guard folded the

The honor guard folded the flag that was over my husband's casket. When they were finished, they presented the flag to me. I placed the flag in a wooden flag shadow box under covered glass. What I did not know was that there is a small amount of red showing in the display case.

When my family members who served in the military come to my house, they salute my husband's flag because of the red that is showing.

Should I take the shadow box somewhere to have my husband's flag re-folded?

I've been told it is disrespectful to have any red showing. I've also been told that the red signifies the blood of our servicemen and women. I don't know what to do.

Thank you for your advice.

My son's father died and his

My son's father died and his funeral was today. It was pouring and the folded flag is soaking wet. My son is carrying the flag with him everywhere but we are concerned it won't dry. I know it can't be unfolded. Are there any suggestions on how to dry it so we can put it a case for display? Any suggestions would be great. Thank you :)

Hi, Jessi: We are so sorry to

Hi, Jessi: We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Although it may be a little late in this particular case, please note that in every single consideration given to Old Glory under any circumstances, the paramount concern is respect and care. So you certainly should feel free to unfold the flag to dry it and even clean it if you see fit, and then refold it -- provided, obviously, that you treat it reverently at all times. Thanks for caring so much to ask!

What in gods name is wrong

What in gods name is wrong with America.The Maryland School district wants to take our national Holidays off the calendar.They want to do it because they don't want to offend Muslims.Tell them to go the Hell back home if they can't conform to Americas customs.It's supposed to be GOD BLESS AMERICA.

I love this country, which I

I love this country, which I have made my home. I have lived in the United States for over twenty years. I come to you with a request for assistance / clarity. I fly a French flag (as an expression of my heritage) on an angled flag pole on my side of a multi-unit condo. My neighbors proudly fly the American flag. My flag is to the right of theirs as observed from the street, and flies at the same height. The American flag is larger than mine (don't know if that's relevant). This past week, someone decided to take my flag and pole down... I found them on the ground. I cleaned it and put it back up. Today I came back to the flag and pole placed on my porch. I find this really disrespectful, unneighborly, and most of all: cowardly. I don't see a reason why I wouldn't be free to fly my flag. I love America and want to be sensitive and respectful, and thought I was... Am I mistaken in putting my flag back up? Thanks so much, I hope that your expertise will allow me to do the right thing here.

Dear Michigan Resident, If

Dear Michigan Resident,
If you have read the flag etiquette on this site, you will see that when displaying the American flag along with other flags, it is to take preeminence. It is not the size of the flag that matters, but its position in that display.
Even though YOU were not displaying another flag along with an American flag, my guess is whoever removed your flag viewed it as some sort of challenge. Those of us who went to school in the 20th century were taught that American flag represents our entire nation. Many Americans take this seriously and view any disrespect to the Flag as a slap in the face to the American people. Others see our constitutionally-protected right of free speech as preeminent over the Flag itself.
I am sorry that whoever saw fit to remove your flag did not have the courage to speak to you about it, but felt free to violate your personal property instead. (You assume it was your American-flag-flying neighbor, but you can't be sure since they did not identify themselves.) Ideally, you should be able to talk to your neighbors about what happened, but not knowing their character, I hesitate to advise you. I hate the thought of you being intimidated into curtailing your right to display a part of your heritage. That is not the American way at all.

Dear Melsled, Thanks for your

Dear Melsled,
Thanks for your reply.
I'd like to clarify a few points that may not have been evident from my previous post. First, I did my 'due diligence' when raising my flag for the third time. I took the phrase from above (No other flag should be placed above the flag of the United States or, if on the same level, to its right) to mean that I was technically in the clear. Secondly, I really don't believe my American-flag-flying neighbors took it down (we are pretty close). I hope this helps...
I am more concerned with common sense and etiquette than technicality. If, however; my flag were to in some way violate the flag code, I would take it down. I believe in the constitutional right to free speech. I also hold a personal belief that free speech ends when it harms others. I don't want to cause anyone distress while expressing myself.
Interestingly enough, I feel more free to fly my flag in the United States than in France (rare are those countries that exhibit their nation's flag at home...). I was reveling in that privilege until this incident made me rethink the entire act.
I believe I will continue to fly it, unless someone identifies themself and tells me how they feel...
Thanks again for your response!

To say that size of the flags

To say that size of the flags is of no improt is incorrect. The main point is that the US flag should be most prominent, and that would be in forward placement, height, size, centered, or to the viewer's left. However, since YOU are flying your own single flag, ther is no placement relevance in this case. Your flag, being alone on your proerty, has no relevance to a US flag flown on someone else's property. They are wrong for tresspassing on your prerty for any reason, without your consent. They should be fine with the size of their larger, US flag in this case and should not be worrying about your single flag, at all.

That said, why NOT fly your own US flag, withj the French flag, and in the proper manner? THat mighjt quell your neighbors' concerns.

I wish somebody would STOP

I wish somebody would STOP the U S ARMY's DISRESPECTFUL wearing of MY FLAG on their right shoulder!!! (with Union on RIGHT)
The "lie" they tell is that it is okay because it "symbolizes" Forward Into Battle.

As per several websites on

As per several websites on this matter:

"The blue field of stars should always be in the highest position of honor. When viewing the flag on a wall, the highest position of honor is the upper left when displayed horizontally, and at the top (upper left) when displayed vertically. When displayed on a "moving object" like a person or vehicle, the highest position of honor is the front, and not the rear; so the field of blue should be displayed to the front.

The same principle applies to the eagle rank of Colonels (or Navy Captains); the eagles' heads are always worn facing forward when worn on the uniform, as the forward-facing eagle is the position of honor within heraldry.

In application, then, flags are displayed on moving vehicles with the blue-star field always displayed towards the front of the vehicle. In this way, the flag appears to be blowing in the wind as the vehicle travels forward (flags are always attached to their flag poles on the blue field side). If the flag were not reversed on the right hand side of the vehicle, the vehicle might appear to be moving backwards (or "retreating").

The next time you visit an airport, notice that the US-flagged aircraft also have a "reverse" flag painted on the right side of the aircraft.

For flag patches worn on uniforms, the same principle applies: the blue star field always faces towards the front, with the red and white stripes behind. Think of the flag, not as a patch, but as a loose flag attached to the Soldier's arm like a flag pole. As the Soldier moves forward, the red and white stripes will flow to the back.

As the proponent for standardization and authorization of heraldry items within the Department of Defense, the Institute of Heraldry addresses the apparent oddity of the reverse flag patch by stating, "When worn on the right sleeve, it is considered proper to reverse the design so that the union is at the observer's right to suggest that the flag is flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward."

A soldier is moving object, my friend.

There is a car dealership

There is a car dealership close to me here in Houston, TX. They have several American and Mexico flags at the same height alternating US/Mexico/US/etc. Is this reportable, and who do I contact?

Hi, Chris: Thank you for

Hi, Chris: Thank you for spotting this. The Flag Code is entirely voluntary, so there is no real enforcement. From a technical standpoint, it is OK for a foreign flag to fly at the same height as the U.S. flag, as long as the U.S. flag is to the right as it is being presented. In other words, if you are standing on the road looking at the dealership, the U.S. flag should be on the left. Of course, if the U.S. flag is on the end, this works only for the first pair. The next U.S. flag becomes out of compliance because the first Mexican flag would be to the right of it as presented. A good compromise might be to lower all of the Mexican flags slightly, like one flag's width. We would craft a short and very cordial letter asking that the dealership "please consider" changing this, have 10 or so others sign it, and bring it to the Sales Manager. Good luck!

Is it always improper to wear

Is it always improper to wear a hat in a room where the flag of The United States of America is displayed?

Hi, Mark: Of course, there is

Hi, Mark: Of course, there is the large school of traditional etiquette thought that says that wearing any hat under any circumstances indoors is improper. That being said, if a hat is to be worn, it is OK to wear it indoors in the presence of the U.S. flag. The exception to this occurs when the flag is displayed as part of a procession, such as being brought down an aisle, in which case the hat is doffed when the flag passes by. Thanks for asking! (And just for the record: We don't wear our hat indoors.)

Board Members in an Home

Board Members in an Home Owners Assoc (55+) have directed management to lower the flag to half staff(entrance to the property, outdoors) whenever a resident may pass away. (For some, not all). This seems to diminish the honor for when it is ordered by the government. Shoud they stop this practice?

Hi, Bill: This is a nice

Hi, Bill: This is a nice thought/gesture, but it is really not proper. An alternative might be to obtain a smaller flag in mourning purple to fly below the U.S. flag in memoriam.

Our displayed flag is on a

Our displayed flag is on a "fixed" staff, and cannot be lowered to half staff. When, like Sunday, Oct 12th, for Fire Prevention - do we simply take it down?

Hi, Larry: Thank you for the

Hi, Larry: Thank you for the excellent question and sorry for our belatedness. If possible next time, the best thing to do is tie a black streamer to the top left corner of the flag and keep it raised.

I have one 20foot pole by its

I have one 20foot pole by its self in a section of my yard on top of a large mound of dirt with plants and flowers and in the same yard approx 80feet away I have 2 flag poles mounted ontop of a deck one is 20feet with 2 sports teams flags and the pole next to it is 22 or 24feet with 2 other sports teams flags on it also. I dont want to have other flags near my US flag and I dont want to fly another flag with the us flag.I want to fly my 4 chicago sports teams together.Is it fine if the US flag is lower at another place in the yard if its alone and not near oyher flags?

Hi, Andrew: This is all about

Hi, Andrew: This is all about respect for the flag -- which, by asking this question, you show that you have. Thank you. Eighty feet is a little tight for this type of "overshadowing" of the U.S. flag by other flags/pennants of any type, but another thing to consider is that much as you Chicago fans may think otherwise, Chicago sports teams aren't sovereign nations unto themselves. Another thing to bear in mind is that by setting the U.S. flag apart and raising it on a beautified, landscaped mound, you are giving it the preferential treatment that it deserves. We would say that you are good to go.

So My dad passed and I got

So My dad passed and I got his flag I have a flag case but I was trying to find out if i can hang it on the wall point down so i can use it as a shelf for his picture? what is the etiquette for putting flag boxes on the wall? Please help.

Hi, Leigh Ann: Thank you to

Hi, Leigh Ann: Thank you to your father for his service! And thank YOU for caring enough to ask this question -- the answer to which is complicated. The bottom line here (well, sort of) is that this flag has been properly folded and is now protected by a case. Nothing can ever be placed on the flag. However, here we are talking about the case, so your usage would be OK. That being said, your memorial display still needs to be placed in a well-lit (but not necessarily specially lit) position of respect (not that you wouldn't). For example, it would be inappropriate for it to be down near the floor or surrounded by felt pennants from your favorite vacation spots. And, although this goes without saying, the photo and case need to be regularly dusted. Go for it. No doubt somebody is pretty proud of you right now for even thinking of this.

Is there a rule of etiquette

Is there a rule of etiquette or published code for flying the flag at night? For example (and to the point), is it required to have a light shining on it? I believe it is code, but I cannot find it. If that is the case, can you please cite the code, as I'm trying to get my homeowners assoc. to get the flag lit at night. Thanks!

The flag should be raised

The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.

google Flag etiquette, there are many sources

I am a cub Master and s

I am a cub Master and s scoutmaster with about 90 boys, I want to teach them right, when lined up with the us flag in front of the line. Where does the colored guard stand in front or behind, I have seen it both ways

Hi, Brian: This is an

Hi, Brian: This is an excellent question! Thanks for being so thorough and so patriotic. There are always at least two color guards who guard the flag bearer(s). When they are in a column, one guard goes first. Then comes the U.S. flag. Then any other flag(s). Then the second color guard. The idea is that the flag(s) are guarded on all (well, two) sides. Thanks again to the Leader of the Pack!

As for the state flags being

As for the state flags being flown at the same level as the National Flag is wrong. There is only one state that has the authority to be able to fly their flag at the same height and that is Texas.

When flown with flags of

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
So the rule is no other flag higher than old glory, same height is ok

Two flags, US to it's right,

Two flags, US to it's right, more flags, US flag CENTER.

Isn't it improper to have the

Isn't it improper to have the american flag flying the same height as a flag on on ether side of it I thoughtthe american flag is always slightly higher

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