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American Flag Guidelines

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Many of our readers ask about U.S. flag rules and regulationsOn 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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Hi, does anyone know if it's

By KimmyFaye on May 26

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 :)

I thought I read that you

By Sue P on May 26

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?

having a little trouble. Want

By ljgomez on May 23

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?

The answer by “James mayo 13”

By USMC (Retired) on May 24

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.

No never! The American flag

By James mayo 13 on May 24

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

By Will tell on May 24

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

As a Cubmaster and

By bsa cubmaster on May 22

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

By Don Dinsmore on May 22

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)

So the flag with the gold

By Pete from Canton MI on May 22

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.

Thank you SO much for this.

By Patricia Lloyd on May 22

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

By Lilith on May 21

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.

One should NEVER embroider

By Jonisalie on May 25

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

You could have a seperae

By George Gundersonv on May 24

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

Thank you for your service.

By Jane Walker on May 22

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

Hi, Lilith: It's a great

By Almanac Staff on May 21

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

Is it ok to run with a small

By Andy789 on May 20

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

By Almanac Staff on May 21

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

By DennisRunner on May 22

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.

To my understanding the flag

By Michael Travis Garcia on May 19

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

By Almanac Staff on May 21

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

By Denise Terry on May 14

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

Ive also read the flag code

By Scott Larry on May 24

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.

Hi, Denise: Correct, that is

By Almanac Staff on May 18

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

Thank you for the flag rules.

By PatriciaR on May 10

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,

By Almanac Staff on May 18

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

If there are two flags on a

By Bellman on May 3

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

By Almanac Staff on May 18

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

Hi I am flying my flag it is

By Fred Librera on May 2

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

By Almanac Staff on May 18

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

By pennsylvaniakid

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 ??

So sad that with anything,

By Kathy M on May 16

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?!? ;-)

Hi, PAkid: Verrry interesting

By Almanac Staff

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

By Kathy M on May 16

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! :-)

I have a three flag mount on

By Gerry Cournoyer

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, Gerry, and Fernando

By Almanac Staff

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!

Hi Gery, if you get the

By Fernando

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

I was told that when the flag

By jackline S

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Jose L. Balderrama

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Gini D

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

By Axel

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

I have a few questions. My

By DCurry

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

By Almanac Staff

For your questions, you might check the actual U.S. code: See Title 4, Chapter 1, sections 6 and 7:

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:

Sorry it took so long to

By DCurry

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.

By David Lotta

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.

Is it OK to paint the

By SSG/R Kevin Paul Till

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

I could not find direct

By Almanac Staff

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:

Recently my grandmother

By Buck Walters

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Heather from Nova Scotia

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Brent Sawyer

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By maxine moore

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Matthue Mooring

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

Hi, Matthue: Yes, it is!

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Matthue: Yes, it is!

I would like to display our

By Jeffry

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

By Almanac Staff

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!

I recently sang at the

By Darrelllray

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Kelly marie

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Evan Towle

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?

The honor guard folded the

By Terri McGovern

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

By Jessi Sara

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By jackie oconnor

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

By Michigan Resident

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

By Melsled

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

By Michigan Resident

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!

I wish somebody would STOP

By WhysGuy180

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

By Navy Brat

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

By Chris.sc600

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Mark Lucus

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Bill T

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Larry H Williams

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Andrew Christensen

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By leighannholguin

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By Joe Gee

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

By Scott Larry on May 24

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

By brian young

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

By Almanac Staff

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

By don k

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

By Scott Larry on May 24

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

Isn't it improper to have the

By Paul Walters

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

Our flag should always be at

By Ian Bruins

Our flag should always be at the same height of any country we are not at war with. For diplomatic reasons, you could probably extend that to every country. Same height.
States are different. Stars and Stripes should fly above every state (although someone here said Texas can be same height, but I don't know if that's true.)

Is is appropriate for a

By Ben Coleman

Is is appropriate for a funeral home to fly the flag at half staff when conducting a funeral for a qualified veteran?

Hi, Ben, The short answer is

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Ben,

The short answer is no. The only source that we know of to address this is the National Flag Foundation ( According to this org, only the U.S. President and, under specific circumstances, the governer of a U.S. state, territory, or possession can the U.S. flag be flown at half staff. On this link page are cited several "good-faith misunderstandings"—examples of government officials who issued such an order. According to the org (NFF), these individuals did not have the proper authority. So, again, it would not be appropriate in the situation you describe.

I work at Walmart and they

By Robert Ferrin

I work at Walmart and they have display the American flag along with the state flag indoors and its doesn't look right. When you look at it the American flag its on it left of the state flag and where the stars and strips are pointed west and i thought the stars always pointed to the north star never away from the north star. Am I right about this that the stars are always pointed to the north star???

Hi, Robert: When flags are on

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Robert: When flags are on a wall, they can be considered the same as standing on a stage facing us. In that case, the U.S. flag should always be on the right side of the presenters, and thus on the left side of the stage or wall as we face it. The U.S. flag's blue field should always be on the left as we look at it, regardless of where the North Star is. Thanks for caring!

I have an issue with a guy

By Collier

I have an issue with a guy living down my street. Whenever he displays his flag it's pinned up over his garage door with the union to the observers right. Which is backwards. I printed out a proper way to display an American flag 101 from the Internet, along with a friendly note. Next holiday, flag was back up, again backwards. So I knocked on his door. His wife answered and I asked why do they always display their flag backwards. Her reply was "it's torn and can only be displayed that way." My response was that it would be pinned up by the same two points, just the flag turned around. And I also added that if it's torn then it's considered unserviceable and should be properly disposed of. Her response was to slam the door in my face. Next holiday he did display his flag the proper way. But that was short lived. Because this past holiday it was back up backwards. So I happen to drive by and he was outside. So I stopped and said "hey your flag is backwards" he said there was nothing wrong with his flag, you see the flag flying over the Capitol building blowing one way, and blows the other way. I tried to explain to him yes on a flagpole but on a building the union should be to the observers left. He just said get lost and he walked inside his garage. Aggravating to say the least!! The guy is a total ignorant idiot. As I am an ex Air Force a Honor Guard and 10 yrs in the military. I sure do wish there was some way I could get it through his thick skull that he is wrong.

Maybe try building a

By GoneGal

Maybe try building a relationship with your neighbors first before telling them how to do things in their own home, even if it is visible. Even though you are right and noble for trying to protect the flag, they obviously don't have the same value for it as you. But hey- at least they are flying the flag! Most people just don't like being told what to do. Work on the relationship first, then if you can build trust with them, they might listen to your story of service and understand why it is so important. Good luck!

Your post began

By Dan P

Your post began with..."Here's what Congress advised for the use of the U.S. flag in a joint resolution dated June 22, 1942." This is not true. Your post goes on to say when the flag shoud be displayed. It includes MLK's birthday. Noooo he was not a black icon in 1942.

Thanks for the good catch,

By Almanac Staff

Thanks for the good catch, Dan!

I work at a company that has

By dave newman

I work at a company that has an american flag on a 30 ft pole.I have heard that the US gov changed the rule on lighting on the flag at dusk to dawn because of light pollution & that a light is not needed flying the flag at night. is this true or just a rumour ?

I have been attempting to

By Jan Ketrow

I have been attempting to display "Old Glory" at my condo complex respectfully yet unsuccessfully since last year. First, I was told the display was disrespectful by our Canadian Board of Directors President. Without the guidance of your wonderful guidelines, I was forced to take the flag down. Now I'm being told I must ask permission to display the flag to honor my deceased WWII veteran father and my disabled Purple Heart, Silver Star, Vietnam vet Ranger brother. Flags displayed on my front door will suffice for my display urges. Needless to say, I am livid! I've been leaving the flag up at night as it has a street light which shines on it until I can find a sponsor to hard wire a light into our electric system. I was told that I had to write a special letter requesting permission to

I am having the same

By Roland Deleon

I am having the same discomfort when I was told by condo association to only display my flag during special occasions or holidays. I am a 20 year veteran and feel I have the right display my flag anytime. Many service man and women died in keeping the American flag flying. I WANTED TO KEEP MY FLAG FLYING.

Is it necessary when

By spp pamela

Is it necessary when nonmilitary personnel carry the flag to be posted prior to the pledge of allegiance and national anthem, that they wear gloves, white or any other color? Some members of the Emblem Club (whose emblem is the American Flag) have indicated that it is required to wear the gloves when posting or removing the flags.

The above quote explains

By Fireflyvintage

The above quote explains about the Dos & Don'ts while we hoist American flag. It will be very much useful for all to give proper respect to the flag.

I see many decorating sites

By Mommabear12

I see many decorating sites now have pillows made with small American flags. I was raised (active in scouting and daughter of a Korean War veteran) that this was disrespectful. How should I respond to these young "decorators"?

I have an older cloth flag

By falconreid

I have an older cloth flag from the 1976 bicentennial. I've noticed lately that one of the red stripes (and only one, oddly enough) is fading. Is there an appropriate way to recolor it?

Is it disrespectful to hang a

By Linda Mangold Booth

Is it disrespectful to hang a burial size flag indoors, framed on the wall. Is there anything wrong with it being tacked with brass nails all around the flag to the frame. This would be for inside a Borough Town meeting room.

I'm no expert but Brass Tacks

By Scott Larry on May 24

I'm no expert but Brass Tacks would show intentional damage which is disrespectful, framed by another method would be better.

The right design for 3 flag

By Samuel A. Glenn

The right design for 3 flag poles- I would like to place 3 flag poles out in front of my business. What is the proper way to display 3 poles? I am getting 1- 35' and 2- 30' poles. Is it OK to place the three in an inverted design (triangle) with the American Flag in back on the 35' pole and the state on the left and POW on the right on both the 30' poles?

reverse the triangle and it's

By Scott Larry on May 24

reverse the triangle and it's perfect! Old Glory should be out front and highest!

Displaying the flag (on a

By William Hildreth

Displaying the flag (on a base and pole) in an auditorium with a raised platform, if the flag is on the platform it should be on the speaker's right side. If the flag is positioned on the floor (audience level - not on the platform) does it go to the audience's right side?

The flag would remain on the

By Scott Larry on May 24

The flag would remain on the speakers right (the flags right) when ever it can

I thought if flags are left

By Jane Addams

I thought if flags are left up at night they are supposed to be lit. A Veterans monument in WI has the flags of the US Army, Navy, Air Force along with American Flag, but no lights on them at night. Is this correct?

2 service people complained

By Kat H

2 service people complained that our flag hanging on an angled pole off of our porch did not have a spotlight on it at night...of course, I did a Google search for this protocol and what I found is that the flag "must have sufficient enough lighting" at night so that "a casual passerby can tell it is the American flag." So, in our case, the porch light casts enough light (as do the street lights) so anyone driving or walking by can clearly tell its Old Glory.

Hi, Jane: It's incorrect, but

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Jane: It's incorrect, but when we see something like this, we tend to go with the "it's the thought that counts" line of critique and infer, rightly or wrongly, that the infraction comes from lack of knowledge (and/or lighting funds) and not disrespect. After all, Badgers have always been a patriotic bunch.

We did a flag ceremony at Cub

By Cub Scout Pack 140

We did a flag ceremony at Cub Scouts recently and I was wondering. If a flag is at half mass and it rains does the flag still have to come in or do you leave it out for half mass remembrance.

Here's a (two-fingered)

By Almanac Staff

Here's a (two-fingered) salute to you, Pack 140! Thanks for checkin' in. We were in Den 3, Pack 254, back in the day, but there were only about 15 stars on the flag then, wethinks. Yes, a flag at half-mast does have to come in during inclement weather. But did you know that this isn't always necessarily true? The reason the U.S. flag needs to come in during bad weather is not so that it doesn't get wet -- it's so that it doesn't get damaged. So if you have a rugged, weather-resistant flag, it's OK to fly it in the rain (but be prepared to answer questions!). Incidentally, the reason the flag needs to be lit at night has nothing to do with night and day and the clock, but rather with darkness. Thus, if it gets really dark and black outside during a storm, you need to light up your weather-resistant flag. There! We've done our best to do our duty to Pack 140 and our country, and to help other people (if you know what we mean ;) ).

Question: I work remote and

By Xparatrooper

Question: I work remote and our facility has one flag pole with Old Glory up top and the State flag below. When the State requests everyone to fly half staff, is it appropriate to bring them both to half staff? I have no good way to separate the two. Which is the 'least incorrect' ? Both all the way up even though the State wishes to be half staff... or Both at half staff?

All flags should be flown in


All flags should be flown in the correct order and all half-staff. (You may have to fly a little higher than half-staff if you have 3 flags and a shorter pole.

? I have been informed by a

By SFC John McKenna (ret)

? I have been informed by a retired LTC that the American flag and the state flag when being flown on two seperate poles in front of a public school, the state flag is suppose to be flown 12" below the American flag. I have never heard this before and I would sure loke to know if I have been wrong for so many years.

When the U.S. flag is flown

By Almanac Staff

When the U.S. flag is flown with flags of states 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, which is to its own right. No other flag ever should be placed above the U.S. flag. The state flag may be smaller but never larger. The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

If The Colors are cased is

By 1sg.(R) Willie Fedd

If The Colors are cased is there a need to Salute. What regulation covers cased Colors?

My thought is if the flags


My thought is if the flags are cased (and I assume you mean in a protective cover with the staff), then the flag is treated with reverence, but not saluted since it is not visible.

I have a Marine Corps flag

By Jhun Jhun

I have a Marine Corps flag and I want to put it post it outside my house. What's the rules for that?

hey is the flag ok to be

By leio

hey is the flag ok to be outside in storms?

The only time u can fly the

By homeless88

The only time u can fly the flag in bad weather is if it is an all weather flag, otherwise u must take it down

One NEVER flies the national

By gloria fortunato

One NEVER flies the national flag in inclement weather (rain, snow, sleet, hail). It is not "OK" to do so. An 'all weather' flag means the materials it is constructed from (fade resistant, wind-related).

This information is incorrect

By Shane Syromi

This information is incorrect as having previous personal experience of being in charge of determining the raising, lowering and type of flag to be posted on a military instillation I can tell you that during inclement weather an all weather flag is the only type of flag that can be flown. If you do not own this type of flag then yes you would take it down to prevent damage. There not a need to remove an all weather flag from display during rain or such. however there are some additional things that you must be aware of if you take it down at night. These include having a place that the flag can hang in the proper manner within your house or office in which it can dry to prevent mold and mildew from building up on the flag before being folded. However as long as you make sure that the flag is not damaged it is in no way disrespectful to have the American flag fly during a storm. I also advise to use common sense in certain cases for instance if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes and this is the type of storm you are questioning then bring the flag inside for this is one case in which you cannot guarantee the safety of the flag. I hope that this helps shine some light on the subject.

When the colors were posted

By Mike Mills

When the colors were posted yesterday at the Bataan March out at WSMR, the U.S. Flag was properly placed. My question: Is it acceptable that the New Mexico flag was near twice the size of the U.S. Flag? It sure didn't look proper.

The guidelines say the flag

By Mike Krites

The guidelines say the flag can not be worn? The Military, Police Officers, wear the American Flag on uniforms etc. Is this acceptable by the guidelines?

what is the answer to Mike

By Mary Lou Moore

what is the answer to Mike Krites question? I have noticed on several TV shows about law enforcement that they do not wear a patch of the American flag - why is that? Also I noticed my local law enforcement does not wear the US flag patch.

A patch of a flag is not a

By Ed Kopsick

A patch of a flag is not a flag. The situation that brings this question out is that a flag in itself cannot be used as clothing. That means that you cannot take a flag, cut it up, make a shirt and wear it. It does not prohibit wearing a flag patch on a uniform.

I live in Texas and I noticed

By Stacy M.

I live in Texas and I noticed a business in the area that had the American Flag & the Mexican flag flying at the same height, on different flag poles, is it against the flag code to do so? The same business also had a Texas flag flying but lower than the Mexican flag, it just does not seem like this would be the correct positioning. Any clarification on these two situations would be greatly appreciated.

According to the Flag Code,

By John Stevenson

According to the Flag Code, when displaying the US flag with any other flag on separate staffs the US flag should be flown as the first on the left side of anyone viewing the flags. Flags of other countries should always be flown at the same height b ut always to the right of the US flag as viewed by an observer

The flags should be flown

By Scott H.

The flags should be flown from separate poles, at the same height, but the U.S. flag is to be raised first and lowered last.

According to the Chicago

By Almanac Staff

According to the Chicago regional office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace."

Thank you for the

By Stacy M.

Thank you for the clarification. Is it acceptable for the Texas flag to be flown lower than the Mexican flag? They have the US, Mexican & Texas flag displayed with the US & Mexican at the same height but the Texas flag is lower.

I was told by a US Air Force

By Belinda J.D.

I was told by a US Air Force Sgt, that there is one day in the year that the American Flag should not be flown. Can you tell me what day of the year that would be?

According to The American

By Almanac Staff

According to The American Flag Foundation, the American flag should be displayed every day, but especially on holidays, including state holidays and during local celebrations.

Ok your saying that I can fly

By Lotti

Ok your saying that I can fly my island flag next to the American flag as long it is properly locate it side by side
I though if your in thus country no flag should fly next to the American flag but underneath please advise
Now my island flag flys underneath

According to the Chicago

By Almanac Staff

According to the Chicago regional office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace."

I fly a USA and USMC flag on

By Bruce Plumeri

I fly a USA and USMC flag on separate poles which are not height adjustable. When flags are flown half mast, which is not doable with my poles, do I not fly them?


If you cannot fly a flag at

By Ed Kopsick

If you cannot fly a flag at half mast you should hang a black ribbon or banner on it.

Flags are lowered to "half

By Earl Pitts

Flags are lowered to "half mast" on a ship. It is flown at "half staff " when on a pole.

t "see half-mast."

By Dawn cooley

t "see half-mast." Definitions for half-mast from those 2 sources:
" The position about halfway up a mast or pole at which a flag is flown as a symbol of mourning for the dead or as a signal of distress. Also called half-staff." The marine thing is false...

Has he U.S. ever lowered the

By Maryelle

Has he U.S. ever lowered the American Flag to half staff over the white house for the death of another country's leader before Mandella?

Yes. The last time the flag

By Curtis Sluder

Yes. The last time the flag was at half-staff for a Non-American was in 2005 for the death of the Pope.

i love the usa and support

By todd powell

i love the usa and support our flag every day.

Are there guidelines on when

By Jill1234

Are there guidelines on when flying a flag at half mast is *TOO LONG*?

For example, the death of a civilian, family lowers flag to half mast and intend to keep it that way forever.

They have even duck taped the pole to prevent anyone from raising it or lowering it.

I do not think this is healthy or respectful

The Flag should only be flown


The Flag should only be flown at half-mast at the directive of the President, Governor, Mayor, etc. In other words, it is improper to fly the Flag at half-mast if it is not directed at the general population.

There are other fitting tributes to honor someone else, but they should not dishonor the Flag while trying to honor someone else.

Only the President or the

By Robert Chapman1

Only the President or the Governor can authorize a US Flag at half staff, that's it nobody else, including Mayors etc.

How can anybody let this

By Jeff Lindau

How can anybody let this continue?

The person who flew this flag


The person who flew this flag has replaced it with the correct Flag.

When the honor guard is

By Wendy O'Brien

When the honor guard is entering the room at a funeral with the American flag, organization banner and two riffles. The American flag enters first then the riffles and banner to be posted, correct? The riffles don't come first then the American flag. Can you please let me know and also where to find the information. Thank you Wendy

I think to pay respect to

By nick edward

I think to pay respect to our flag we need these guideline . . . and who knows when a mistake happens and ruin everything . . . for picture frames u may visit . . .

This are great guidelines. We

By foglamp

This are great guidelines. We should learn to respect our flag as it represent our country's pride and liberty. Patriotism is not purely passion, it is a social responsibility.

I have a question about


I have a question about displaying the flag in a war zone on my compound that I am at in Afghanistan. I raised the flag today in a small ceremony for the first flag displayed at our compound, we can not put a light out at night to illuminate it at night because of air traffic around, and we all have a difficult time about displaying it at night with out disrespecting the colors. Is there a rule or some kind of guidance that you can help us with. We also do not want to take it down and put it up every day do to the missions that are all over, please give some guidance...SSG Bain out..

you are in a combat zone, so

By Charles Woolson MSgt USAF [Ret}

you are in a combat zone, so it is appropriate to fly the flag 24/7 unless command orders otherwise.

There is usually enough ambient light in an active compound to see the flag. Since the flag is visible you do not need a special light.

also common sense dictates you do not want to make an easy target, so no light please.

hope this helps.

There is a place in my home

By Carol Mattoon

There is a place in my home town who has the American Flag out in front of their business and attached to the back of our glorious flag is the Mexican flag. I was wondering if that is even legal. It is extremely irritating to me and I personally find it very disrespectful. So I would like to know if it is illegal. Thanks

I am not sure why I felt

By Kathy Missouri

I am not sure why I felt compelled to do this but when my husband put up my flag pole as I have been asking for many years now he asked me which way to place the pully and I just said to the North of course. I don't know that this is proper etiquitte and it's too late now that it's cemented in place but is this proper? I did make sure he placed it to the left of our main entrance and that there is a street light illuminating it until I can get the spot light I need to illuminate it properly and so that I can fly it 24/7 as I have a great deal of pride in my country and I do not believe I should have to take it down and put it up every single day. Another question I have is on Memorial Day when it is to be flown at half mast but it is already flying do I then lower it and briskly raise it to the peak then to half mast or do I just lower it to half mast? Thank you.

Kathy, you are correct

By Paul Fournier


you are correct about hoisting the flag on Memorial Day, however, it is not termed 'half mast', but 'half staff' as a mast is on a ship. A Staff is a land based flagpole.

We have an Irish Pub and want

By Nancy McKeown

We have an Irish Pub and want to have Irish flags along the outside of the building to draw attention. Is it disrespectful to hang only the Irish flags as they will be up very high and we will not be able to take down at night or provide lighting for the American flag?

I wish you would put a way to

By Karen Everett

I wish you would put a way to share this article on Facebook. I cant copy and paste this from my phone.

I live in a manufactured home

By Bill B

I live in a manufactured home development. We plan to display the American Flag on the properties of our street during holiday periods. The flags are 12"x18" and attached to a 32" pole which will be put into ground so as the flag does not touch the ground. Is it proper to leave these flags overnight without lighting? We were hoping to leave the flags flown for the entire week of the holiday.

Thanks for your help


The flag should be raised

By KtJ

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.

Do we have to.lower our flags

By Leyda D. G

Do we have to.lower our flags for someone that had not served the country?

The president will proclaim

By Jerald H. D.

The president will proclaim when the flag needs to be at half staff. Here is a link to where you can find those.

I have had the honors of

By Norrval Cummings

I have had the honors of being ask to lead the Pledge od Alegence to our montthly meetings of the residents. We have a new President of the Residents Association. I Have been movimng the flag to the right and in front of the podiam for each meeting. Shortly after the meeting came to order I lead the group in the Pledge of Alegence and a Lady Lead the group in the National Antham. The flag was moved to the back of the podiam. Is this proper?

It is not improper, but

By Art Frailey

It is not improper, but unnecessary. Honors to the flag can be rendered in any proper position it is placed.

We live in an older home 1760

By Paula C.

We live in an older home 1760 and we fly the Grand Union flag. I would like to add the Betsy Ross Flag to the pole which flag should be flown the highest? I would like to fly both flags but do want to do it according to flag etiquette.

I just purchased a home, I

By Joe Borgen

I just purchased a home, I served in the AF for 4 years and Army for 6. I hang an all weather flag and placed it on the left (facing my house, far right looking out of the house) I am not really sure about the height of the inclined pole from the floor. Is it supposed to be half height of the house. If you know please let me know. I want to make sure I an displaying it accordingly and respectfully. Thank you

I was a Marine who served in

By AJ Crossley

I was a Marine who served in Iraq. I have a flag that flew outside my post while I was there, she has several bullet holes in her but I hold on to it because of the memories. Would I be able to display my flag on a wall in the living room or would that be considered disrespectful? If anybody can provide an answer please help. My email is:
Semper Fi

Sir, may I suggest that you

By John Stevenson

Sir, may I suggest that you place the flag in a tri cornered display case, after folding it. These cases are not only used for display of flags used at funerals but can be used to honorably display a flag that has sentimental value. Thank you for your service.

Thank you for your service

By Michael Golden

Thank you for your service Marine,
I have a Flag given to me by my grandfather that has 48 stars. I wanted it preserved and displayed in my "man cave" along with all my other memorabilia of my days in S.E. Asia and other military "stuff". What I discovered is, a flag that has sentimental and historical value can be displayed following the rules of etiquette of a new flag....
...By doing so, you also show honor to those that served under that particular flag.
My answer to your question: It is not disrespectful if done with pride. So, carry on Marine, Semper Fi.

I am now somewhat concerned

By PatrioticDecorator

I am now somewhat concerned that I may have done something wrong. My bathroom is decorated with Americana style decor, there are flag craft items, signs reading God bless America, flag wallpaper border, etc. Guests have consistently spoke of the decor in there, sometimes saying they felt like saluting in there. It is decorated in this style out of love and respect for our country. I often find new American items to put in there, and do so. Is this wrong?

If it's done with respect,

By 2ndGenVet on May 22

If it's done with respect, it's fine. If it makes your friends want to salute, it sounds like you've done a respectful job. Stars and stripes toilet paper, on the other hand... Now, that would be another story.

My sister brought something

By Susan Pine

My sister brought something to my attention. In the "holiday" section of when Old Glory should be displayed, it mentions Mother's Day, but not Father's Day. I am hoping this is a typo and not a sub to the men of this country.

Susan, Thanks for bringing

By Almanac Staff

Susan, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I don't think we have updated the U.S. Flag Guide since it was printed in the Almanac. For now, we have updated the holiday list. We'll review it all soon. Thanks, again!

We have all these specific

By lesia

We have all these specific guidelines, yet we allow people to burn it

The ability to burn the flag

By grfort

The ability to burn the flag (as a protest) is the Free Speech right you have as a citizen of this country. It's odd and doesn't sit well with some of our populace but, it is a right to free speech.

Please know when a flag becomes tattered/frayed/discolored and so forth it should no longer be displayed/flown. The correct term is 'to retire the flag' NOT 'burn it'. Boy Scout troops in your area will be glad to perform the ceremony (it's actually quite moving).

I'm not sure where you're

By Jann

I'm not sure where you're getting your information,
but good topic. I needs to spend some tim learning much more
or understanding more. Thanks for grea information I was
looking for this info for my mission.

My web blog - garden city easter parade

Many BSA troops are no longer

By Kenneth F Miller

Many BSA troops are no longer accepting flags for retirement as they are overloaded with nylon all-weather flags that can not be retired via fire. When checking with the troop if they will accept the flag, please let them know if it is nylon. As a Scoutmaster, I have over 50 flags that we have retired with a ceremony, but have not been able to physically retire as the fumes released by the nylon during burning are toxic.

Retiring nylon flags -

By gloria fortunato

Retiring nylon flags - interesting. Funeral homes (some) offering cremation services will retire the flag (once it has been separated as prescribed in the protocols/regulations). Ask around.

The "ability" to burn the

By Gary Stilwell

The "ability" to burn the Flag of the United States in protest is BOGUS. This IS NOT FREE SPEECH!-It is desecrating the Flag that symbolizes our freedom.
Try this---lay our flag down on the ground in front of a Marine. set it on fire--see how fast you get a FREE ride to the promised land.
(The only way our Country's Flag is to be burned is with due ceremony of retirement)

The first amendment includes

By Like or Not...

The first amendment includes "symbolic speech". Flag burning is a form of symbolic speech, like it or not, and has been upheld by the US Supreme Court with ruling like Texas vs Johnson (491 U.S. 397) in 1989 & US vs Eichman (496 U.S. 310) in 1990. This is also why the Flag Desecration Amendment has yet to pass in the Senate. I agree with you that it is very offensive & I personally believe there are more appropriate methods to make a point; it is a person's unalienable right to show their ignorance and disrespect. As far as your Marine situation, I would hope he/she would not respond with violence. 9 out of 10 times that just feeds the protester's point (right or wrong). I would like to think that instead, they would stand proudly while reminding the protester, the ONLY reason the flag can be burned as symbolic speech is because of their service/sacrifice to protect the people's rights and keep our government a democracy.

The ability to burn our flag

By Dayna Hall

The ability to burn our flag in protest may be bogus to you, (and I hate the fact that our flags can be burned) but how can we say we are a free country if we are not allowed to burn our symbol of freedom in protest. Do i want our flags its our right........and when they start taking our rights away they won't just stop at one. JMHO

In addition to exercising

By James Flannery

In addition to exercising proper flag etiquette, people should also make sure to buy flags that are actually 100% manufactured in THE UNITED STATES.

Please know the glut of Made

By grfort

Please know the glut of Made In China flags has ended. Our Congress has created and passed a law that all national flags be Made In USA.

By lindamc43
Is a song I wrote about the flag and the history is beneath it.

I was at a college


I was at a college commencement ceremony today. While the audience was seated and as the service began, the U.S. Flag was carried down an aisle and taken to the stage then placed in its stand. This was a time that no music was being played. The audience was not asked to 'stand'. Does flag protocol call for people to stand when the flag is carried into an auditorium?

Anytime the Flag is in an


Anytime the Flag is in an auditorium or stadium and is hoisted by the person carrying the flag, you should stand and stay standing until the Flag is either positioned in a stand or until the person carrying it lowers the staff back to the ground.

Yes you DO stand for the

By grfort

Yes you DO stand for the national flag. People will follow your lead - next time STAND UP, face the flag as it enters, turn as it passes by.

The commentator wasn't aware of the request to stand else it would have been given.

God bless our flag and may

By murphyma

God bless our flag and may she fly until the end of time.

I thought we were always

By Person of the dude

I thought we were always supposed to keep the flag up, even in wet weather

I have one 16ft flag pole

By Dylan Bender

I have one 16ft flag pole flying the american flag and was looking to get a second one to fly the pow-mia flag. Can i have 2 flag poles and is there a specile they should be placed or can i only have 1 or 3. Please answer thanks so much!!! :)

Two adjacent flagpoles are

By Almanac Staff

Two adjacent flagpoles are fine. Or, you can fly both flags on one pole. For one pole: the U.S. flag should be on top and the POW/MIA flag directly below it.

For two poles: the U.S. flag should be displayed on the pole to the flag's own right (Note: The "flag's own right" is usually the observer's left, as s/he is looking at the flag from the most frequently viewed angle, such as a view from the street. So, for example, two flag poles located in the front yard of a house, as viewed from the street, would have the U.S. flag on the left pole and the POW/MIA flag on the right pole.) The POW/MIA flag, on the other pole, should not be higher than the U.S. flag.

In either case, the POW/MIA flag should be no larger than the U.S. flag.

Ummm. its just a piece of

By Paul Gangi

Ummm. its just a piece of cloth. i mean i understand what it stands for and i respect it but the stupid traditions are just a waste of time. i dont think is disrespectful if it gets a little tear or somthin. it actually makes it look cooler that way haha

IF you respect it as you say

By Patricia Mills

IF you respect it as you say then you would understand. True Americans & those who have fought for OUR freedom would disagree with you without hesitation. The next time you think of a ripped flag looks "cool", think of the mother clutching the folded flag at her son or daughter's grave & then think AGAIN!!!

Ah, so you are an

By susan emily

Ah, so you are an idiot..............Get out of the USA and try living where your type of humor will be appreciated. You are the "stupid" one!

While the flag is cloth, it

By grfort

While the flag is cloth, it is the representation of what it stands for that commands the respect it should be given (which is your right to do so or not - free speech). Traditions are not stupid but a means to remember/honor as well as to instill values, customs, beliefs and so on.

How lucky for you to live in this country and be able to think and express the thoughts you hold.

While it may be 'cloth' to you, the flag is a representation of the beliefs this nation holds dear as well as the trying times it endured successfully; think! whenever there were horrible moments in our history, someone somewhere raised the flag because it represents our nation - the line from the anthem "the flag was still there" means we will endure...think 9/11: the flag was still there; think any devastating force of nature: the flag was still there; think Boston Marathon: the flag was still there.

Paul Gangi - I hope you're just baiting people to respond.

Know what HONOR is,

By mark cappelmann

Know what HONOR is, apparently not!!

I saw a picture of a parade.

By John C

I saw a picture of a parade. All the folks were sitting in their chairs while Our Flag was passing. Except for one wheelchaired man who stood up to salute it's passing. WTF is wrong with this picture?

It was interesting reading

By jeltez42

It was interesting reading these comments. It is very clear that this is a very emotional topic. Flags were designed to tell groups of people apart. It gives a visual clue as to where "their" people are.

I do find the current flag worship/obsession to be cause for worry as they people have taken a normal behaviour and carried it to dangerous extremes. Of course we are going to treat our flag with respect - it represents our "group" and we are respectable people. And because it is a representation of our group; the group should control who gets to use the flag.

Where the trouble comes in is when people say they would die for the flag. I am willing to die to defend this country, but the flag? No, the flag is just a symbol. Another problem is when the worshipers/obsessed become abusive towards people who do not feel the same as they do or violate some flag rule.

I hope we can all keep this in perspective. The flag represents the USA and it represents citizens of the USA. It does need to be treated with respect, but not worshiped.

In war, it use to be an honor

By KyleinChinaSpring

In war, it use to be an honor to drop your weapon and recover the "colors" from a fallen comrade and carry it forth to battle.

When they say, "I will die

By Lolly

When they say, "I will die for the flag"--most probably--they are using a synecdoche wherein the use of the word 'flag' represents all that we know it symbolizes, such as freedom and the nation, etc.

You just made my day! Have

By Vivianne

You just made my day! Have never seen anyone write synecdoche outside of academic setting - thanks for nabbing the opportunity brilliantly!

An earlier comment stated

By dntill

An earlier comment stated that these guidelines were suggestions, not laws.
Well there are laws relating to the displaying of the American Flag.
See the Congressional Research, Service of the Library of Congress, report by James Hall, Legislative Attorney, American Law Division.
I is very explicit and is too long to repeat here ...But I will repeat one short paragraph.
"All the states, at one time or other, have enacted laws relating to the United States flag. Whereas the Federal Flag Code does not provide penalties for certian conduct or may may not govern certain practices, state law may do so. Therefore, it is advisable to consider applicable provisions of state law, as well as federal law on questions of proper use of the flag."
So in most cases the Flag Code is a guide and is purely voluntary to insure proper respect for the flag.
There also is a section of the flag code that addresses the use of the flag in jewelry, commercial products, wearing apparel, and advertising.
Ask at your Congress person's office for a copy of flag displaying guidelines.
They have lots of information they can send to you.
Now would be a good time as they will want to keep you happy.

I will often proudly wear a

By FMouie

I will often proudly wear a hat or tee shirt with the American flag prominent. I don't mean it as disrespect, but as a declaration of my pride. I don't think the Founding Fathers would disapprove of that, considering the sentiment being expressed, and the evolution of our societal ways. While I certainly appreciate and respect tradition, I think the "guidelines" should be flexible in consideration of the intent of the display of "Old Glory". I'm sure the Founding Fathers, or "rule" makers never could have anticipated the many ways Americans would eventually choose to express their love and reverence for our American flag. As a proud veteran of The Vietnam Era, I love wearing the colors and do so whenever and wherever.
Also, the above "rules" neglected to say that when hung vertically, the Union should be on the upper left, as seen by the viewer.
God bless America! Love it or leave it!

I agree with you that the

By jeltez42

I agree with you that the founders of this country would not take issue with flags being on hats and clothing as some, non military, had sewn mini flags on their "uniforms".

My father was in the US Air

By Gator Williams

My father was in the US Air Force for 22 years and flew for various units of the 6315th Special Operations Group. I was around for 16 of those years before he retired and a year later, I joined the military proudly serving during the Vietnam era and was in-country a couple of times for short periods of time.
All of my life i was told that if the US Flag was to be worn anywhere on an article of clothing, it was to be worn on the left shoulder above any military rank or insignia to signify that I am an American first, US military personnel second.
The stars on the US Flag are to be closest to the heart to show my admiration, love, respect, and protection of the states represented by the stars should the need to protect the states should arise.
I see so many US Military personnel (Officers, NCO's, and Enlisted personnel) walking around today with the US Flag on their right shoulders with the stars close to their backs that I want to dress them down and tell them that if they don't get that flag on their shoulders squared away, I will see to it they are reassigned to Fort Wainwright, Alaska where they will spend the rest of their military career shoveling snow off the sidewalks of the NCO family housing.
As for non-military personnel wearing the US Flag on their clothing, I see this a lot, especially on the BASS circuit, but they are at least wearing them properly and respectfully, honoring all of our past and present US military personnel.

current military uniform regs

By wally flynn

current military uniform regs have the flag on both shoulders of BDU.the star field is to the front of the uniform,not towards heart or whatever.I liked it the old way too. -former USAF staff Sgt.

The United States Flag may be

By Jeffrey Lanham

The United States Flag may be flown in any weather as long as a weather resistant flag is flown, as well as at night if it is lighted. This is in the flag code as well. :)

If you do not honor GOD then

By Patricia Anderson

If you do not honor GOD then how can you honor our country? Our constitution is based on God and His precepts. America will fall if people continue to disregard Him. Our flag is a symbol of our faith.Do not dishonor it!

With all due respect to your

By R.j. Snow

With all due respect to your personal beliefs, you are very seriously mistaken here. According to the First Amendment of the Constitution, Congress shall make no law with regard to religion. The flag is purely a national symbol and has no relationship to your god or your religion whatsoever. The American flag is not a symbol of anything except the United States of America. Faith has nothing to do with it. To place your particular religious beliefs above others in this way is, in my opinion, extremely UN-patriotic and totally UN-American. If you believe in American freedom, that must include the freedom to choose ANY religion or NO religion at all!

The best way to honor God and

By ljl98012

The best way to honor God and Country is to be a good person.
You can be a good person or a bad person whether you claim to be a Christian or not.
The important thing is to respect people of all faiths and orientations.
After all, most of our founding fathers weren't Christians, they were Deists. They understood the critical importance of separation of Church and State. Too bad so many Americans are determined to undermine this critically important pillar of our Democracy.

As befits Old Glory with

By Duane Putnam

As befits Old Glory with Memorial Day near, I'd ask everyone to listen to or read the lyrics to "Ragged Old Flag" by Johnny Cash.

It is not a long song, but in his own country manner, I think Johnny says a lot in a few words. His song ends with these words:

"So we raise her up every morning, we take her down every night
We don't let her touch the ground and we fold her up right
On second thought, I do like to brag
Cause I'm mighty proud of the Ragged Old Flag"

Through his words, Johnny Cash touches the hearts of every American who has sworn to protect her and every American who has suffered or lost a loved one in her defense. Please have a happy holiday, but do not forget what Memorial Day is really about. Fly your Flag proudly, watch your local parade, thank a veteran or military member you know, and go to your local cemetary and care for the grave of a veteran whose family can't. You will feel the pride of being an American just as Johnny did every time he sang this song. You might just feel your heart skip a beat and find a tiny tear well up in your eyes. There are people behind our America who deserve this one small thought from those of us lucky enough to call ourselves American!

As has been pointed out,

By JBL55

As has been pointed out, these are guidelines, not laws. It is unfortunate that some manufacturers print images of the American flag on all sorts of products, including items (e.g. paper napkins) destined for the kind of use to which our flag should never be subjected (e.g. wiping one's mouth and throwing in the trash).

It is equally unfortunate that citizens purchase these items. If more people were cognizant of the flag code and exercised common sense, perhaps the manufacturers would not sell so many of these products and would have to find another way to make money from patriotism.

Babs Clark really hit the nail on the head. The founders were keenly aware of the bloody religious civil wars which had recently wreaked so much havoc and destruction in Europe and they were determined that religion would be a matter of personal conscience, not government mandate. We must be vigilant to not allow historical revisionists to recreate our nation's history according to their prejudices and preferences.

And we should be equally vigilant about non-fact-based criticisms of our leaders. We might not always agree with them, but we shouldn't just make stuff up. "Free speech" is a poor excuse for slander.

To truly be a flag of the

By Ken Hoyt

To truly be a flag of the USA, size, colors and dimension ratio specifications must be met. Just because an item has stars and stripes in red, white and blue does not make it an American flag. Items not meeting the criteria are merely patriotic decorations not subject to the regulations. My choice is to decline to use those items but knowing that they are not really flags helps to ease the sting of seeing others choose to display them in ways that would disrespect a flag.

I have a question...the flag

By Sherree Austin

I have a question...the flag one receives for a fallen soldier or a deceased soldier---does that flag need to stay folded and in its case or can it be flown? what is proper?

I think it depends on the


I think it depends on the family. My family allowed my grandfather's flag to be flown at the local school for many years until it was ultimately retired. My other grandfather's flag is still folded in a case. Personally, I think the choice is about how best to store/use the flag to respect the individual who died and the flag itself.

In Memorial Day, the American

By Kent Despain

In Memorial Day, the American Legion takes our solder's flags to the cemetery to fly in a place of honor. That is the only time they are flown.

I believe it is a personal

By Penny Nelson

I believe it is a personal choice but I was raised to beleive that once folded it is to stay folded and if there are empty shell casings inside the folded flag they are to remain there.

When considering these rules,

By MoonShaddow

When considering these rules, remember these pertinent facts:

1. These rules were made by joint resolution of Congress in time of war. They were never made into law. Consider them as guidelines, and consider them well.

2. The rules all echo the underlying requirement for freedom (free movement) in the symbolism of the treatment of the flag. TSA, Homeland Security and other police-state agencies should be especially mindful of the freedom underlying the symbolism of the flag.

3. Boycott all products which disrespectfully depict the flag of the USA, especially those manufactured in enemy countries. This small step helps your country in more than a symbolic way.

This all certainly makes for

By NanaMeggie

This all certainly makes for interesting reading! I, too, wish more people were aware of proper flag etiquette and that more flags were displayed at home for our national holidays. This is a good beginning, though.

As to the image of the flag now appearing on everything from paper cups to diapers and every imaginable object in between..... well, remember that we live in a republic which guarantees freedom of speech and, in one sense, you could (albeit loosely!) interpret such uses as examples of the same. Properly speaking, the image of the flag shouldn't be used like this, but then how to account for American flags being depicted in paintings or photographs?

Just like all else, usage of our flag and flag imagery may change over time just as readily as our society itself changes. But... is it still proper or does it become proper through these changes?

It's all about respect.

By John C

It's all about respect.

On the point of what to do

By William Hallett

On the point of what to do with an American flag when it is no longer a fitting emblem, please take it to your nearest American Legion Post for the annual ceremony on June the 14th. Also note that burning the American flag is becoming an unacceptable practice (adds to the greenhouse gases that is melting the polar regions and heating up the atmosphere). Probably, Congress should revise their flag's resolution for a more modern day American society. Carried horizontally?; Watch a football game open ceremony. Not used for advertising purposes?; Did you ever see a gal wearing one as a bikini at the beach? Honor the United States of America with a forgiving mind, a loving spirit, and peaceful actions. Then "old gorly" will be the symbol of greatest nation the world has ever known. It is a far better thought that God would bless each and every person on earth than for God to only bless American.

It says it SHOULD never.

By conrad m

It says it SHOULD never. Theres no law that makes it officail rule. There are always inconsiderate businesses and people who will use our nation symbol as a scummy way to make a couple bucks.

One 'retires' the flag - it

By grfort

One 'retires' the flag - it is not 'burned' for greenhouse gases increasing from this practice: the volcanoes that are spewing cause more harm than the flag retirements.

Correction on the last entry

By Samuel Elizondo

Correction on the last entry of the article..."When the flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferrably by burning." Before you burn our great flag, PLEASE cut the stars section from the stripes. Then you will be burning two pieces of cloth and not our flag.
One other thing of note. I can't remember any other President apologizing to the world for Americans. Please Mr President, don't apologize for me. I'm too proud of my country to ever bow down in humility for being an American.

There are protocols as to

By gloria fortunato

There are protocols as to retiring a flag. I remember our troop, armed with scissors, would cut the field (stars) first; then another scout patrol would cut the red stripes and place in a container. White stripes were placed in another container. When all flags were done we took them to an undertaker who volunteered to 'cremate' the piles. The ashes of all these flags (more than 100) were placed in an urn and these were ceremoniously placed on hallowed ground (our local cemetery). All Scouts were duly impressed with an increased awareness of respect and honor.

Right One Sam!

By John C

Right One Sam!

It's my belief our country is

By Babs Clark

It's my belief our country is primarily about the freedom of thought and religion. Whether we believe in a 'god' or not, it is our choice. One can still have respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without believing in the supremacy of a supreme being. THAT, to me, is what America is -- the ability to



"One Nation Under 'God'

By John C

"One Nation Under 'God'
There are no atheists in a foxhole. But to choose is, yes, a right men and women have died for.

No nation under god. "one

By BigPoppaAz

No nation under god. "one nation under god" was not added to the Pledge of allegiance, until 1954, in response to the "godless" communists.

As an aside, Americans are not required to state the pledge of allegiance. That's American.

Take your god, and do what you please, do not force your god on others. The establishment clause provides for freedom of religion, and freedom from religion, for all.

Hey this person actually read


Hey this person actually read the constitution and bill of rights. Thank you.

The settlers came here for

By realitycheck

The settlers came here for freedom of religion. The section under god was not original. It was later added! I'm not sure what service you served in but the one I do respects all religions and allows their soldiers to practice freely. The Americas were founded on the separation of church and state!

The phrase "separation of

By Lolly

The phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear anywhere in the United States Constitution. In the First Amendment, however, we are given to believe that no law-maker has the right to choose a national religion for us. Also, I believe that it gives people the right NOT to believe in God. The phrase "separation of church and state" was first seen in a letter which Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association on the first day of 1802—which was nearly 13 years AFTER our Constitution was put into effect on the 4th of March, 1789. (and therefore NOT foundational) He was responding to a letter written to him by the aforementioned association. They were concerned that--in the future--some law-maker or other person in power might see fit to make legislation which dictated how/when/where/with what type of religious group or even if Americans MUST worship.
In his response, Thomas Jefferson attempted to reassure this group by saying,
"Believing with you that religion is a
matter which lies solely between man
and his God, that he owes account to
none other for his faith or his
worship, that the legislative powers
of government reach actions only, and
not opinions, I contemplate with
sovereign reverence that act of the
whole American people which declared
that their legislature would "make no
law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof," thus building a
wall of separation between Church and
The First Amendment put boundaries on what could be legislated. It did not, however, in any way, shape, or form allow for people to be berated because they believe that--in a basic way--our Nation was formed on Christian values. Is this a Christian nation? Definitely, it is not anymore. But was it formed by men who knew their Bibles well and who believed in an Almighty Creator and who strove to live lives which honored Him? Why, yes. Yes, it was. I believe that a responsible and honest researcher would find it to be true.
One of my problems is that people have put forth this offal in regard to what 'separation of church and state' meant to the founding fathers (and, therefore, what it should mean to us) and have 'equivocated' its meaning into something more palatable to them for SO long that we’re actually starting to believe the lies. It wasn't supposed to mean that we can't pray in public or in school or have a Bible in public or have the words "In God We Trust" on the walls of governmental buildings. And that is what--mostly thanks to the ACLU--we now have as "truth" in our nation--that Christianity is in no way allowed to even hint at touching anything governmental. Malarkey!! Read the papers of the Founding Fathers of our Nation! Read transcripts of the inaugural speeches of every single American President, even our current one. Phrases such as "...that Almighty Being..." and "...His Providence..." and "...that Being in whose Hands we are..." are found in transcripts of speeches from the earliest presidents of our great nation.
Sadly, we've evolved into a nation wherein Christianity is 'persona non grata.’ God and Christianity are shoved—quickly—into the cupboard under the stairs whilst practically every other type of religion is shown the most comfy chair and given the best food and drink available in our home. It makes zero sense to me is why we're not allowed to pray to God or read our bibles in school, but if we want to get down on a prayer rug three times a day and pray to Allah--well, then that is perfectly acceptable and no one will naysay that at all. But they sure will fight vehemently against any show that someone might love and want to serve the God of the Bible. Do you not see the hypocrisy? It is a shame that—in order to make all groups to feel more welcome—we as a nation must subdue that which has been a part of our society since the very beginning. 
And in regard to the actual subject of the thread and not ‘realitycheck’s comment, I’m glad these rules have been posted. I’m often amazed at how many businesses have Old Glory flying at night without the ‘light shining’ on her.

Lolly, Hooray for you!!! I

By Gary Stilwell

Hooray for you!!! I could not have said this any better than you did! I agree with you 1000%--on every single point!

Honor and pride have been let

By John Smalley Jr

Honor and pride have been let down by people we elected to serve this great country. GOD and the American flag are not protected by those we put in charge to do so [no GOD, no pride or honor in USA].
Men have died for both.

The only reason we have been

By Roger Myers

The only reason we have been let down by the people we've elected is because we elected them. The change must start with us.

Thank you for being awake.


Thank you for being awake. There is only a few of us in the US these days.

Honer in this country is

By John Smalley Jr

Honer in this country is being let down '
Men have died to keep USA a GOD fearing nation ' Honer and Pride must be restored'''
our flag is a simble of GOD with the USA

Men and women died for our

By BigPoppaAz

Men and women died for our rights as Americans. NOT to keep us a "god fearing nation", as you put it. No where in the US Constitution does it state, that we should fear god, that's your issue.

The American flag is the symbol of our nation's strength and unity. Not our religious beliefs.

Well it seems like nobody,


Well it seems like nobody, even the president, follows the Constitution these days so what ever. I wish Ron paul was still in the race, he is the only candidate who planned on following the Constitution.

A lot of flag rules have been

By Janey S

A lot of flag rules have been dishonored for a very long time. Some of them may or may not be incredulous for our era. Times change but it takes a long time to amend laws and rules of conduct. It's like a lot of rules and laws; not enforced.

I wish more folks were aware

By ctravlngrl

I wish more folks were aware of these rules & policies of display & care of the American flag.

The flag is printed on

By Amy Nieskens

The flag is printed on everything (cups, napkins, boxes), but apparently it's against the rules!

The majority of people who

By Lee C. Smith

The majority of people who know the rules and regulations and proper respect to the U.S. Flag are Military or former military personnel. It's drilled into our heads.

(Laughing softly) Lee,

By gloria fortunato

(Laughing softly) Lee, Scouts know. While at a parade a civic group came upon me/the unit I serve (Cub Scouts - I in the vintage den mother yellow). I heard one of them say "ask her - she's a scout; she'll know." What they didn't know is I'm also a daughter of a WWII Marine -- know? Heck I live it! Semper Fi and God Bless America

I feel they should not put

By Scaper Ron

I feel they should not put "untrue" representations of our American colors on cups, plates, shirts, bandanas you name it. Our colors should only be represented as a flag and not a piece of money collections. If you want to show your pride fly your flag, your American flag properly per proper guidelines. There are proper guidelines available to display correctly.

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