American Flag Etiquette, Rules, and Guidelines

How to Properly Display the American Flag

American Flag

Many of our readers ask about American flag etiquette and the U.S. Flag Code. Here is a list of rules and guidelines for displaying the American flag and treating it with proper respect.

On June 22, 1942, Congress passed a joint resolution, later amended on December 22, 1942, that encompassed what has come to be known as the U.S. Flag Code. 

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

How to Properly Display the American Flag

  • The custom is to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on flagstaffs in the open, but it may be displayed at night upon special occasions to produce a patriotic effect.
  • When the flag is hung vertically on a wall, window, or door, the Union (blue section) should be to the observer’s left. When the flag is hung either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the Union should be to the observer’s left.
  • The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
  • The flag 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.

  • The flag 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 American flag should be to the right of any other 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 American flag or, if they are to be placed on the same level, to the right of the American flag.
  • 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, when displayed with another against a wall—both from crossed staffs—should be on the right (the flag’s own right), and its staff should be in front of the other staff.
  • The American flag 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 American 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 American flag should be hoisted first and lowered last.
  • When displayed from a staff projecting from a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff.
  • When the flag 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, the flag 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, the flag 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.

American Flags

How Not to Display the American Flag

  • The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing, including government officials—even the President.
  • The flag should never be displayed with the union (stars) down, save as a signal of dire distress.
  • The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
  • The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
  • The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored so that it might be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
  • The flag should never be used as covering for a ceiling.
  • The flag 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 and ceremonious fashion, preferably by burning.

Do you have a question regarding displaying or respecting the American flag? Ask us in the comments below!

Reader Comments

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Position of US Flag on a vest

I ride a motorcycle and wear a vest. Where do you place the American Flag? On the right or left front of the vest?

Flag display

In my town there is a flag being displayed that is half American flag the other half is a confederate flag. I thought this was wrong but want to know what is right or wrong

United States American Flag

Is the American allowed to be worn as articles of clothing either for business or personal use?

American Flag Etiquette

I always thought that you were not supposed to fly the flag in inclement weather and I just re-read the Etiquette and it says you are not supposed to. But it was brought to my attention how the Navy and Armed forces fly it on ships and in all weather conditions. Then I read some of the questions asked to you and you responded to one saying it was ok as long as it is an all weather flag.
I'm just wondering why it's ok to fly an all weather flag in inclement conditions but the Flag Code says not to fly it in inclement weather. It doesn't say you can fly the flag as long as it's an all weather flag.
Thank you for your help with this.

Tiny flags

At our last Veterans Day assembly, we had many of those small and tiny flags lining the outside garden. Some of the blades of grass were taller and touching the flags. We did display a "real" flag on a post up front next to the podium. I wondered if those small flags are for decorative purposes only and we didn't need to remove all of them from the garden area? I've been to many parades where they were handing out those little flags on a stick and kids were waving them around and dropping them occasionally.
Please help. I've been confused about the protocol with these types of flags.

tiny flags

I also meant to say that some of the small flags were made of plastic. Are the small tiny flags considered the "real" flag? Should we not use to line the sidewalk or garden area? Should they not touch the ground as well even though they are the small little ones? Thanks for you help!

Flag etiquette on stage

A flag etiquette question came up the other day at a convention. The stage is 4 ft above floor - house left, stage right is a wheel chair ramp - the ramp has guard rails on both sides about 3 to 4 ft high. the ramp is about about 4 ft wide and 6 ft back from the front of stage - - a flag is to be placed at the edge of stage right with a spot light. Should the flag be place in front of the ramp entrance and its rails or in back of the ramps entrance and its rails. Being in back of the rails makes it appear to some of the audience to be in a cage - being in front of the ramp entrance may cut off a small bottom portion of one of the presentation screens to that same audience. which would be proper ?

Behind, the Answer

Hi, Tom: Wow, thanks for caring so much to ask this question! There is nothing wrong with putting it behind, which is what we would do. Thanks again!

Display of two flags

I have installed a 20 foot flag pole with mounting connections for two flags and intend to display Old Glory as well as a US.ARMY flag. Only problem is that when at rest the two flags might touch what are your thoughts

Touching Response

Hi, Micheal: If you can’t space the flags a little farther apart, this would then be perfectly OK. Thanks for asking!

Two American Flags

We are having a wedding at a beach location that has a tall flag pole and then three shorter flag poles. I would like to honor the police by having a Thin Blue Line American Flag, as well as two country flags, in addition to the American Flag. Is it ok to have the American Flag on the main flag pole, and the thin blue line, Polish and Irish flags at the same height on the other poles?

Seeing Blue

Hi, Claire: It would be OK to do this, except that the Thin Blue Line flag is not really considered to be in good taste, as it is a demarking of Old Glory. Certainly the sentiments are in the right place, but technically speaking, the Thin Blue Line flag would not be. Thanks for being so patriotic and civic-minded to ask, and best wishes from the OFA to the lucky couple!

U.SA. flag

How many U.S. flags in an auditorium?

Flagging Response

Hi, Paul: As many as can comfortably fit! But seriously, there is no “right” number like one, or two, or 10, or whatever. Thanks for asking!

Using an American Flag in the background of a portrait painting

Are there rules about whether the American flag should be used on the right or left of the figure in a painted portrait? I heard that the flag should only be shown on the figure's right (viewer's left).

Go Figure

Hi, Mary: There aren’t really any rules regarding flags in paintings, but generally they do show up on the figure’s right because this would be the proper way to display Old Glory in real life. If one is on the figure’s left in a painting, it just shows that somebody (even the painter) somewhere didn’t know the right way to do things. Thanks for caring so much to ask!

Another country flag on same pole

Do I understand correctly that there should NOT be another country flag UNDER the US flag on the SAME pole?

Below Answering

Hi, Jiggs: While it is technically OK to do so, this normally would be considered disrespectful treatment of the other country’s flag. Thanks for asking!

Half Staff Flag Order

If the President orders the flag to half staff but the weather is going to be very bad and extreme winds what is the protocol?

Weather Watch

Hi, Rob: It is always OK to take down Old Glory (at any staff height) to protect her—just as it is always OK to leave up an all-weather Old Glory in all weather. If the flag is being damaged or you feel that it will be damaged, it is fine to store it temporarily. Thanks for caring so much to ask!


If the image of the flag is not to be on pillows and such, is it OK to have the image on clothing? Thank you

A Bad Image

Hi, Linda: It is really not a good idea to have a flag image on clothing, and certainly not OK to wear a flag as clothing. When on clothing, it sometimes is considered art, with which anything goes. A lot depends on where and how this is done. Whereas a small flag tastefully printed above a firefighter’s name on a T-shirt chest might be considered respectful, on the back of that same t-shirt a giant Old Glory with the words “I Love America!” might be considered a little much. In general, the less on clothing, the better, and not at all is best. Thanks for asking!

Flag at Half Staff

We have a set of 3 flags for our community, each on a separate pole. We lower the U.S. Flag when their is a death in the community. Should we lower the other flags (community flag & Veteran's Flag) as well, remove them or leave them as they are?

A Moving Question

Hi, Duane: You should lower them, too, or else take them down temporarily. Thanks for the question!

Can the USFlag touch the top of POW/MIA Flag

Our American Legion Post has a flag pole, like all American Legion Posts, with a US Flag and a
POW/MIA below the US Flag. My question is when Old Glory is at rest, with no wind can it touch the POW/MIA? I had heard that Old Glory can not touch any other flag on the on the flag pole.

A Touching Question

Hi, Louis: Although not preferred, it is OK if this happens occasionally. Thanks for caring so much!

Pledging Allegiance in the Absence of The Flag

I was told years ago that -- in the absence of the American Flag -- the Pledge of Allegiance may still be recited by the assembled group facing north, placing hand over heart while saying the pledge. Is this true?

Pledge Class

Hi, Mary Anne: From a technical standpoint, the Pledge of Allegiance (“to the flag … and to the Republic”) should be made only in the presence of Old Glory, but if she doesn’t happen to be around, we are not going to report a respectful pledge to the Flag Police (if there were any, which there aren’t). It’s the thought that counts! Thanks for asking!

Moving flag

My dad received an American flag when he retired as a one star general and after 9/11 he moved it from his condo to the concierge desk in our building to share with the residents. he recently moved to a nursing home and we want To move it to his nursing home room what is the proper way of trans porting it in the car

General Question

Hi, Sylvia: Thank you for asking this wonderful question, and thank you to your father for his long service. Please be sure to tell him! From a technical standpoint, it would be best if the flag were folded into a proper triangle, but for a short trip it would be fine to fold it simply and keep it clean, perhaps inside a plastic or paper bag. Then, just holding it in your lap would be OK. Thanks again!

Decorative flags

Is it proper to fly two flags, on a home at 45 degree angle, with one being the US flag, and one being a decorative flag (corvette)?

Two's Company

Hi, Susan: Sure! Just make sure that Old Glory is no lower than the second flag and that it is on the left side as the home is viewed. Thanks for asking!


When buying a bandana from a store in the format of the flag, would it be appropriate to say, wear it wrapped on the head? I know this may be an obvious question, but I've seen multiple people do this before and don't know if it's appropriate.

A Wearing Question

Hi, Ian: Wearing the U.S. flag as any type of clothing is totally improper. Thanks for caring so much to ask!

Trumpy Bear

I just saw a commercial for a plush toy called Trumpy Bear. It has an American flag hidden inside that you can use as a blanket. What are your thoughts on this item?

Hidden Problem

Hi, Jerry: Using Old Glory as a blanket is wrong in every way, shape, and form. Hope that’s clear enough, and thanks for asking!

Flag display at night

I can't find any consistency to how an American Flag should be displayed at night. What are the proper rules of flying our flag at night?

Night Light

Hi, Jane: Lit. Thanks for asking!

blue line flag

Is the blue line flag that certain police depts. are flying considered a desecration and should it be flying on the same staff as a normal U.S flag ?

Out of the Blue

Hi, Fat Frank: While we probably wouldn’t call a blue-line flag a desecration, they certainly are not proper to be flown anywhere. They could be considered art and be permissible in that way, but their use is usually more flaglike than artistic, so we are not a fan. Thanks for asking!

Labeling flags

We have flags from every country that is represented in our school that we hang in our cafeteria. We would like to add to the bottom of the flag the name of the country it represents. We have cardstock labels we want to attach to the bottom of each flag with 1 staple. Is this considered with in flag guidelines/ rules? Thank you for your time.

Able to Label

Hi, Sarah: Good for you for recognizing that it is important to treat other nations’ flags with respect as much as possible. Regarding Old Glory, attaching a label would not be proper. Regarding the other nations’ flags, it might not be proper in their countries to do so, but these are in our country and we are just trying to do a little educating. So we would say label all except Old Glory, which hopefully people will be able to identify without a tag! Thanks for asking!

Storing a flag on a pole

Help. We have a flag in our church that is not being displayed. It is on a pole and is sometimes brought out, during patriotic holidays. It used to be off to the side hidden behind a wall but now it has been moved to a storage/boiler room, not on the pole, rolled up leaning on a wall. I just get a feeling that, that is not the proper way to store it. I don't think anyone will take it down and fold it to store it, so can it be stored on the pole properly? Thank you for your time. I really look forward to hearing from you!

On a Roll

Hi, Beth: Sure, if the flag is not going to be folded into a triangle properly and placed within some sort of protective covering, it can certainly remain on the pole (although we are a little confused as to whether right now it is or isn’t on the pole) while carefully rolled and leaned against some clean surface. You can also cover it with the type of plastic sleeve that comes with a beach umbrella. Good luck, and thanks for caring so much!

Flying the Flag half-staff.

Is it permissible to fly the Flag half-staff for just a general citizen. I see this done all over the place. In particular when we have mass shooting incidents.

We Do Declare!

Hi, Elizabeth:  It most certainly is. The president declares when and for whom Old Glory is flown at half-staff nationally, and a governor can do so for more local remembrances. You raise a good point, though, because the reasons for such declarations seem to be limited to the deaths of officials and dignitaries of one sort or another. However, wide latitude has developed over the years regarding declarations for “general citizens,” and the precedent has been well established. Great question, thanks!

Position of US Flag

Which side of the street when entering a development should the US Flag be on?

Left, Facing!

Hi, Bob: It would usually be on the left side as you entered, because the development would be considered to be presenting itself to those who entered, in which case it would be on the development’s right, or the entrant’s left! Thanks for asking!

Half staff at home

I fly a small house flag secured to my siding. On days when it's required to be flown at half staff, I read that since it's a small flag you can place a streamer of sorts on the top to mean its at half staff. Is it supposed to be black or purple?

Streaming Content

Hi, Patrick: It’s supposed to be black, but purple will do in a pinch! Thanks for asking!


I saw a picture of a man standing with his arms outstretched, holding the flag, but the flag was draped behind him. Is this ok to do?

Cloaked in Impropriety

Hi, Karen: Not really. Old Glory is a flag, not a cape or cloak. Thanks for asking!

American flag protocal at the olympics

I am disappointed and must comment on behalf of active military members as well as veterans; this includes those who gave the ultimate sacrifice which allows the freedom we enjoy. I feel that Olympic Officials and some US participants are lacking the knowledge of US flag protocal in the handing & displaying of old glory. Perhaps a National Veterans Organization could provide them with such information.

A Great Idea

Hi, RR: Thanks for this excellent suggestion!

Shaun White, Olympic Snowboarder

After Shaun White won the Gold last night He unintentionally let the Flag drag on the ground.He also while dragging in it happened to walk on it.Is this considered disrespectful in the Olympics?

A Pass for the "Red Tomato"

Hi, Steven: Dragging Old Glory and/or stepping on her, unintentionally or not, is disrespectful anywhere, including at the Olympics. That being said, if our government had a nickel for every time a well-meaning citizen accidentally disrespected our flag, our national debt could be wiped out. (Well, maybe that’s not true!) We always tell folks that 99% of the time the “flag disrespect” cup should be looked at as half-full, not half-empty. That is, many times people get caught up in their own exuberance and/or joy and/or pride and love our country so much that they want to share their happiness through including—not disrespecting—Old Glory in their celebration. And, of course, in the heat of the moment (aka joy of celebration), the faux pas occur. So we’re not going to hammer “Red Tomato” (former hair color, BTW) Shaun White or anyone else who unintentionally disrespects our flag when all they are trying to do is honor it. But this is a great question—thank you!

Flag touching the ground protocol

I was brought up that if an American Flag touches the ground, it is considered disrespectful and that flag must be destroyed by fire...

Is this a fact?


Hi, Brian: No. If Old Glory touches the ground, the remedy is not burning it, but cleaning it if necessary and not allowing this to happen again. Thanks for caring so much!

Internment flags

I have 2 flags both in the triangular flag cases. Is it ok to hang them like this. ◀ ▶ with a military picture between them?


Hi, Lisa: The proper way to display a triangular case is with the long side at the bottom horizontally, but we’re certainly not going to report you if you use this innovative way for a good purpose. Thanks for asking!

Olympic Medals Ceremony - Displaying the US flag

Hello, I saw the medals ceremony today night at the Olympics in Korea where the United States was being honored for a gold medal. The US flag was displayed using a standard pole (next to the stars) AND was also threaded through a pipe going along the top edge of the flag (as if it were suspended ona solid wall)-. While this left no doubt in anyone’s minds which country won the that medal, I can’t help but feel disgusted that Korea has chosen to disregard American traditions by stifling our fllag’s right to wave over “making it look pretty.”


Hi, Paul: Thanks for this excellent question. In fact, any host country of anything anywhere is always bedeviled by the many conflicting demands of other countries’ flag protocols. A great deal of time and trouble goes into figuring out how to display the most flags while offending the fewest countries. In the end, the only place where the advisory U.S. Flag Code really applies is the USA, and any other considerations elsewhere are just a bonus. For example, if the heads of state of countries A and B visited the U.S. and spoke from a podium or table with our head of state, behind them you would see, from left to right, Old Glory, country A’s flag, and country B’s flag. But if the same three people spoke in country A, you might see from left to right country A, USA, country B, because this is what the host country’s protocol calls for for its own flag. So this is not meant as disrespecting our flag, as much as it is just respecting their own flag more, which they have every right to do. In the case of the Olympics and other world championships, we’re sure they’re doing the best they can to get every flag flown in its most advantageous manner, and we would definitely give them a pass on the pole & pipe setup. Thanks again!


I am looking into framing a 3x5 foot flag that was flown over Afghanistan during a military operation. Can the flag be folded in any way other than the triangle or must it remain flat?

Frame Job

Hi, Dana: It should be either flat or folded into the proper triangle. Thanks for caring so much to ask!

Waving the flag

Is it correct to wave the American flag on staff in a sports event entrance parade, such as the Olympics? I thought it was supposed to held vertically and not waved. Thanks!

The Wave

Hi, Liz: It’s perfectly OK to wave the flag… think of all those old soldiers running and riding into battle. Thanks for asking!

Displaying Flag at Olympic event

Heading to Olympics this year. Is there a proper etiquette to wave and hold the flag up during sporting event as a spectator. I see this all the time were a spectator will be waving there countries flag.

Olympian Task

Hi, John: Thanks for thinking of Old Glory! Just keep it off the ground and make sure it’s right side up … then just let ‘er rip! Wait! Forget about the ripping part… just go for it!

US flag display etiquette

Is it ok to display a US Civil War (34 star) flag hanging horizontal from a display table w/ (paper weights) holding the top edge and it not touching the floor?

Weighty Question

Hi, Tom: Yes!

Flag Lights

We have lights installed on our flagpole at school, can we leave the flag up at night or do we still need to take it down daily? I understand during inclement weather it will need to come down, but what about the other times?


Hi, Beth: If the flag is lit at night, it may certainly stay up, as it also can in inclement weather as long as it is an all-weather flag. Thanks for asking!

Rescued an AMERICAN FLAG!!!

I found an American flag on a homeless site, it was being cleaned out and on top of a duffel bag, there it was folded in a triangle. I want to keep it but is missing a little piece of about 2 inches in a Corner, my question is can I still keep it or where can I take it so it can be disposed of properly and respectfully,
I need some advice please

thank you!!!

Homeless Flag Finds a Home

Hi, Mario: Thanks for this outstanding question. From a technical standpoint, should be destroyed–often the local American Legion, VFW, National Guard, or police department can help. From a sentimental standpoint–perhaps as a reminder of how fortunate the nonhomeless are–it would be OK by us if you kept it. But you wouldn’t want to fly it or display it such that the missing corner were obvious. Thanks again!

American Stars and Stripes / Canadian Maple Leaf

Is it considered "proper protocol" or even legal to fly the "combination" flags that are sold with both the American flag and the Canadian flag displayed on both sides of the combination flag ? Thank you ..

Wrong Combination

Hi, Donna: The use of a flag that has parts of Old Glory combined with anything else, whether on the same side or other (back) side, is highly improper. Thanks for asking!

American flag with POW and state flags

What is the proper way to display the POW/MIA Flag with the state flag on a single staff? Everything I read says American flag, POW and state flag on the bottom. The state of Alabama apparently has a state law that says the Alabama flag goes above the POW flag. Is the US Flag code a "law" or just a guide to display?

Stack o' Flags

Hi, Bill: The U.S. Flag Code is guidance only. In this case, the order would be U.S., state, POW/MIA. Thanks for asking!

power outages

Is it a violation of the US flag code or against proper flag etiquette if a flag flown at night under illumination has a power loss to the light resulting in no light shining on the flag?


Hi, Rick: If you are talking about a temporary loss, such as because of a storm, then it is OK to leave the flag out until the power comes back on. However, if this is going to to stretch into days, weeks, or months (our thoughts are with you, Puerto Rico!), then Old Glory should be taken down until the power comes back on. Great question… thanks for asking!

Flag in case display

I have a flag presented to me by my son in law. It is folded properly in a triangular case, along with a framed certificate indicating the flag was from his unitial combat mission in Iraq. I want to display both, one on each shelf in my office. Should flag be upper or lower and to the right or left of the certificate?

Wall Papers

Hi, Ken: The flag should be above or the left (as you look at if) of the certificate (either/or… it doesn’t have to be to diagonally to the upper left). Thanks for asking!

Multi Layered Flag/ Flag Pole Question

Ok Im going to try and explain this the best as possible! About 40 years ago, the library that currently houses our neighborhood library used to be an American Legion. Then sat vacant for many years, then became a church for a few years then sat vacant again until we moved in as
a library in 2014. Last summer we began gardening plots on our patio. There is a flag pole out there were we hung a flag created by the kids about gardening. The flag was professionally printed and hung, this is the only thing on the pole. We do not have an American Flag hanging(there are no lights on the pole), just the garden flag. We had someone tell us that we were wrong in having the flag up and it needs to come down according to flag etiquette. Is there a law about hanging a decorative flag on a flag pole without having an american flag present?

Oops sorry posted before I reread it

First part of that was edited wrong lol I'm sorry! Let me rewrite that first part.
**About 40 years ago the building our community library sits in now used to be an American Legion. Then sat vacant for many years, then became a church, which then left and the building sat vacant again for many years until we moved in in 2014.....
See the rest of the question above.

Sorry and thanks for any help

Flag Daze

Hi, Theresa: It’s fine to fly a different flag without Old Glory being present, and yours sounds charming. That being said, if someone told us that it was not fine and that Old Glory was needed, we’d be the first to say, “You’re absolutely right! Care to make a contribution so that we can get one?” Thanks for asking!

Attaching a flag to a wall

I work in an automobile factory and I have takin over the task of hanging a large flag (15’x 25’) to display our pride in an American made car. We have chosen to hang it on a wall horizontally. When I purchased the flag I had a sleeve sown on the top, backside of the flag so we could insert a 25 foot pole along the top so the flag would hang without saging . The bottom right corner of the flag does not lay against the wall and it creates a large wrinkle. This corner has an extra layer of fabric sown on to it. My question is, can I make a small slit in the backside to insert a magnet so the flag will lay flat against the wall. The slit will not be visible and will not be on the face of the flag. It WILL make the flag look straight and flat and give it a much better appearance.
Thank you for your response.

Auto Pilot

Hi, Brian: Thanks for steering this flag in the right direction by showing some of that good ol’ auto industry ingenuity! You absolutely may do this! And say hi from the OFA to the folks in the plant!



Question Ironed Out

Hi, Richard: YES!

Putting a small flag on the dashboard

Is it disrespectful to put a small flag on the dash of a car ? If not, how should it be placed ?
Thank You !

Flag to Go

Hi, Jerrie: It’s OK to do this, as long as the flag isn’t touching the dash itself. Anywhere is fine. Thanks for asking!

Flag location on a residence

Can the US flag be flown at an entry other the front door?

Backdoor Answer

Hi, Nelson: Absolutely—the more, the merrier! Thanks for asking!

displaying a banner beneath the flag

I was recently at a sporting event at my daughter's school, and there was a banner declaring that a student was selected for all-state basketball centered directly underneath the American flag. I thought it seemed strange and disrespectful. Is this ok to display something right under the flag? When the teams say the pledge before a game, it's as if they are saying the pledge to the flag and this student's banner as well.

Banner Year

Hi, Nicole: Thanks for caring so much to ask! This is OK to do, and come to think of it, might serve as a sly psych move on visiting teams, too!

American Flag in Wooden Window Frame

Is it improper to display an American flag in a multiple pane window frame that is mounted on a wall? The window has glass panes that protect the flag. The wall is meant to be a dedication walk for LEO and military personnel. Thank you for your time!

Right Thou Art

Hi, Leah: This display becomes “flag art,” which is perfectly OK. Thanks for asking!

Multiple flags on one staff

Can another flag or banner ( other than a state flag) be flown on the same staff with the American flag?

Sort Of

Hi, Lewis: Yes, as long as the other flag or banner does not itself disrespect Old Glory or is not itself in bad taste (but again, this is protected by free speech). Thanks for asking!

In Rain with a Light on Flag at Night Outdoors?

or should it NEVER be flown outside in RAIN day or night with or without a light?

Rained In

Hi, Fred: It is perfectly OK to fly an all-weather flag outside in rain during the day and also during the night, if lit. Thanks for asking!

Wearing Gloves

Can the United States Flag be touched with black gloves worn on the hands? Asking as a member of flag honor detail for a military post.


Hi, David: Yes!


Is it disrespectful to tie two flags of different countries together?

Tied Up

Hi, Richard: Generally, yes.

Use of the flag in a dance

Hello! I recently witnessed a dance studio using a flag in a dance. The dancers held the edges and carried it on stage with the the top of the flag slightly elevated. They then laid the flag over a large, metal, round shaped structure that was supposed to represent the world. I’d like your thoughts on this please.
Thank you!


Hi, Amy: Well, we guess our thoughts are that hopefully they meant well. Thanks for asking!

Marching and posting of US flag

I am part of an honor guard. I have recently seen some moves that I don't agree with but am unsure if it is proper...
When you March with flags...
When at the front of an audience the US Flag is to be on the right side for the observer, correct?
When posting the colors...
Are you allowed to perform an about face? Meaning, when at front we are facing audience we have from oberver left to right:
How do we post the flags? I have seen video where the flag bearers step forward then go out and around to post. But recently, our flag bearers have begun doing an "ABOUT FACE" movement.
Doesn't that change the order?

On the Move

Hi, Susan: As you know, in your honor guard, the U.S. flag should be the rightmost flag as you march, with a guard to its right. When you reach the front of the audience, regardless of from which direction, you need to turn so that you are facing the audience and thus keeping Old Glory on your right and the audience’s left. For example, if you were to come up a middle aisle, you would reach the front and perform the drill command “wheel.” You could do this by all marching forward (except leftmost) until facing the audience, using the leftmost guard as the pivot or by wheeling on the center, with the right half of your formation marching forward and the left backward. So, a wheel of some sort, as a unit, is more dignified than about-face(s) as a way to face the audience. Thanks for asking!

Is it OK to iron a flag?

We have a casket flag that we want to place in case. It was not folded correctly 3 years ago the stars are not straight across. We tried to refold it but still no luck. If we can iron it I think it would help.

Ironing Things Out

Hi, Peggy: It’s perfectly OK to iron Old Glory! Thanks for asking!


Am I correct in my understanding that when the US Flag is flown at half-staff, all other flags on the same staff are to be removed? If this is the case, where do I find this information so that I may pass it along to the local school district?

Half-Staff Half-Answer

Hi, Jeff: When Old Glory is at half-staff, all other flags can be removed or else still flown below it—as long as this does not violate their own rules. You would need to continue your Internet search for an answer to this specific case, as it falls under general flag protocol. Good luck and thanks for asking!

football field sized US flag

Do these huge flags fall under the rules as smaller flags? Specifically, how it's folded & stored after the field display?

Huge Problem

Hi, Christine: Yes, they do, but whether the rules and flag are appropriately respected may be another matter. Thanks for asking!

Flag on bannner

I think I know the answer to this, but want to check anyway. I am making a banner and would like to attach a flag to it. I do not want to be disrespectful. Is this appropriate?

Banner Ban

Hi, Sherri: It’s really not a good idea to do this, as it would subjugate the flag to the rest of the banner. Old Glory should always predominate in terms of focus and respect. Thank you for being so patriotic to ask!

Flag displayed on back wall.

Is it improper to display the American flag on the inside back wall of the hall? At the front of the hall, it is displayed on the stand already. To me, it looks tacky and wrong, but I need advice.

Back Problems?

Hi, Craig: Thanks for caring so much, but it’s perfectly OK back there, too.

Flag touching ground

Veterans day/Memorial day/flag day (flags) placed by volunteers at head stones and lining cemetary driveways for several day on short temporary sticks often touch the ground or even lay on ground. Also unlit, how can legion/VFW approve such installs?

Ok to fly Colonial Flag?

Forgive me if this question has been asked. I have a new nylon colonial American flag and was hoping to use it outside my home. Is it okay if I fly it day and night (with a light of course) or should it be reserved for special days? Thank you and Merry Christmas!!

Fly Away

Hi, Richard: Go right ahead and fly it—every day’s a special day (and night) for properly lit Old Glory! Thanks for asking!


Question: Memorial Flag Display.

I previously had my son's memorial box displayed on the tabletop. I have recently hung it on the wall. It is now a diamond shape: medals on top in the upper "triangle", folded flag in the bottom "triangle". The box is still hinged together, thus the "diamond" shape. - It was suggested to me I MAY be displaying the flag in the bottom triangle improperly, as the apex (point) of the folded flag is pointing downward. Is this improperly or disrespectfully displaying the flag in this manner?

Proper Memorial

Hi, MOM: Please accept our condolences on your son and our thanks for this great question, the answer to which is that the medals are usually displayed underneath. Technically, displaying the flag in this manner is not incorrect, but by custom it is wrong. So, yes, we would turn this over so that the flag is on top. However, if doing so makes it impossible to rearrange the medals so that they hang properly, then you are cleared to keep things the way they are. Thanks again!

Old flag

There's a handicap veteran poww that I cannot get to answer the door but it's flag is stuck up on the eagle and it's torn it's about 25 feet up I want to know the correct way to remove

Helping a Vet

Hi, John: We would suggest contacting your local American Legion, VFW, DAV, or even fire department and asking them for help and/or advice! Thanks for doing this!

Flag etiquette

We want to hang Christmas lights on the pole below the flag. Is this ok?

More Pole Lights

Hi, Enoch: This is technically not a good idea, as it detracts from the flag… but thanks for caring so much to ask!

Flag Storage

We take our flag down every night. Is there a protocol for how it is to be stored when not flying? I know it can't be on the ground, but how is it supposed to be stored?

Down and Not Out

Hi, Vicki: Thanks for this excellent question! Your flag should be folded in the proper triangular fashion and then placed in a safe, clean area. It does not have to be covered. It could simply sit upon a hallway table, but you would not want it, for example, just to be placed on the floor or in the box with hats and gloves. Thanks again!

Lighting the flag at night

The Lions Club is selling a program where for a fee they will put up a flag on your yard
they leave them up for 5 to 7 days some are in the dark.
I thought the flag had to be lighted to be proper , A lot of us have the flag displayed on
a pole with a light on top shining down or a light shining up on the flag.
Can you shine some light on this for our guide in the future. Thank you

Bright Answer

Hi, Leon: You are correct—Old Glory should always be lit at night!

Respecting the flag

Is there a certain way that we should show respect towards the flag? For ex; do we have to have our hands to our hearts or stand (though some may not be able to), etc. ?

Many Answers

Hi, Jessica: There are many ways to show respect, including standing, saluting, and placing a hand over the heart. Scroll down through the answers below for much more information (maybe search for “heart” and “stand”). Thanks for asking!

flying flag in church

In our church, we have the American flag on one side and the Christian flag on the other. They are on the lower level at the front of the congregation. I have seen in some places where the American flag should be on the right as the congregation looks at it, and in other places it says on the speakers right, regardless of whether it is on the lower level or on the podium. Which way is correct?

Right On

Hi, Michael: It should be on the speaker’s right, congregation’s left…. thanks for asking.

US flag and military service flag

My husband is retired Navy and I would like to have both US and Navy flags flying from our porch posts. As I understand it, US Flag is on the left, as you look at the house. Does the mounting bracket need to be higher for the US flag?

On the Level

Hi, Irene: No, it does not…. thanks for being so patriotic to ask!

putting christmas lights on the flag pole

Is it unpatriotic or disrespectful to make the flag pole into a Christmas tree with lights & still fly the flag. The lights would not interfere with the flying of the flag, they would start lower down on the pole.

Flagged Down

Hi, Beth: It’s not really proper to do this. Thanks for asking!

Proper display and/or flying of...

Is it wrong, and/or disrespectful, to replace flags normally flown along side the American Flag (e.g. state, school), with holiday banners (e.g. Christmas)? In other words, should you fly the American Flag and Christmas flags/banners together?
I only ask this because my apartment complex recently did this, and, it just doesn't seem a proper or respectful display; of course, this is just my opinion, based solely on my own 54yrs. of history and experiences with our flag:
My dad was career Navy (20yrs.), ergo, I grew up on Naval Bases (18yrs.), having the opportunity to observe first-hand, proper flag etiquette, pomp and circumstance; my dad was also involved with the Boy Scouts of America for many of those years, including being an Eagle Scout leader for a period.
Additionally, I, during those formative years, became a fully fledged Girl Scout (K - 12), where, I might add, I had the honor and privilege of being a "flag bearer," raiser and folder, on many an occasion (e.g. ceremonies, parades, camp outs).
I really would appreciate an educated response to my query, and, whether it be right or wrong to display as such, I still think it's tacky and disrespectful to our flag.
Thank you for your response...

Ho Ho No

Hi, Valery: As disrespectful as it may seem, it’s not technically wrong to replace secondary flags with holiday banners. Thanks for caring so much!

Offshore Flag

Hello I work offshore on an oil field platform in the Gulf of Mexico I am not always here but I have noticed that the flag being presented here is always up and has received damage on the end of the flag what should be done or supposed to be done.

Rigged Response

Hi, Mark: Thanks for asking this great question. If the flag is damaged, it should be retired and destroyed through respectful burning. Otherwise, a flag that is always up should be an all-weather flag and should be lit at night! Thanks for caring so much!

American Flag

Is it disrespectful to fly the flag in the bed of a truck?

In Bed Answer

Hi, Philip: Not sure what you mean exactly, but if you are saying that it is laid down in/on the bed, this is certainly wrong. If you mean flying from the back, that can be OK if it is in the center or on the passenger side. Thanks for asking!

American Flag

Flags aren't supposed to be up always. Not at night and not in inclement weather. No plastic flag.

How can I display US flag and Puerto Rico flag on the same pole?

To display at my home. Can I do this?

US Flag and Puerto Rican Flag

Yes, of course! If they are to be flown on the same pole, the American Flag should be flown above the Puerto Rican Flag. 

Flags over football fields

Is it improper for a group of people to carry the flag horizontally over a football field or a beach?

Flat Out Wrong II

Hi, Ron: Yup!

Encased but on the floor- ok?

I have my father's funeral flag encased in a triangular display case, and I'd like to display it in my carpeted upstairs loft with his veteran's memorial certificate.
I saw an earlier question posed asking why the flag should never touch the ground and the reply was so it wouldn't get dirty.
Is it ok to have a respectfully encased flag set on a carpeted floor amidst his other military memorabilia?

In this Case

While it is typically better to have an encased flag displayed on some sort of stand—a table, mantle, or trunk, perhaps—it sounds like it would be displayed tastefully and respectfully in your loft as you explained, and we can’t see anything wrong with that. Thank you for taking the time and effort to honor your father in the correct fashion! 

Flag display

Is it wrong to display the flag straight out from a building as long as the union does not dip?

Straight Answer

Hi, Michael: That’s perfectly OK.


The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but I often see an enormous flag carried this way by dozens of people in parades and football games.

Flat Out Wrong

Hi, William: True, and improper!

half mast

After the president orders half mast, how long do I wait to return to full mast?

The Answer, Period

Hi, Craig: The president gives the period of time when he makes the order. Thanks for asking!

Reciting the pledge of allegiance

Attended a meeting normally beginning with the pledge of allegiance to the flag, however at our location, the flag was missing. The leader had us say the pledge anyway. (Like to the wall). I thought it was inappropriate and disrespectful to say the pledge just for the sake of saying. What’s the proper etiquette

Flag or No Flag

Hi, Parker: Excellent question! While people who have seen the Pledge recited without the presence of Old Glory are probably as scarce as hens’ teeth, it is perfectly OK to pledge allegiance to our flag without the flag itself being present. Thanks for caring so much!

cleaning of an old flag

An old 48 star flag is going to be framed and diplayed. There are some soiled spots on it, can we clean it?

A Clean Answer

Hi, Harlan: By all means!

Half Mast procedures for lighted flag pole?

What are the rules for going from half mast to full at the end of a half mast period for a lit Flag? Such as this Thursday 11/09/17 at sunset? Do I go full, then down, then back to full, or just straight to full?

Straight Ahead

Hi, Dave: Thanks for caring about this! You can go straight to full.

weights to keep flag from wrapping around pole

We have an outside flag on a pole that juts out from the building over the sidewalk entrance. My question is, can we sew weights onto the flag to keep it from wrapping itself up constantly?

Long a-Weighted Answer

Hi, Donna: Yes, you may–coins or fishing sinkers work just fine. Thanks for asking!

Etiquette of Painting a US flag

What is proper etiquette on painting an US flag on cabinets and have some of the strips go into floor to give a 3D kind of look? Unfortunately I am no artist so the flag will not be to exact code..I am however a very patriotic father served proudly in the US Air Force snd I have many friends who served and still serve today. I worry that I will be disrespecting the flag and what it stands for if it “touches” the ground plus I absolutely do not want to be standing on the flag (even though not actual flag) I still am concerned. Please help me with my dilemma.

(Not) Anything Goes

Hi, Scott: Thanks for caring so much to ask these questions. What you are describing is “flag art,” with which anything goes. That being said, just because anything “can go” doesn’t mean that anything “does go.” For one thing, you would want to make sure that this is highly stylized and not even a distant replication of a real U.S. flag. (It sounds like your lack of artistic talent has this aspect covered. :) ) As far as having the art run onto the floor goes, this is totally allowable, but it really makes us squeamish. The point of depicting Old Glory anywhere is to have it be the center of attention and honor, especially in honor of your father, your friends, and the millions of others who have served to protect it and what it stands for. With an art installation that is particularly unique and/or clever (as running the stripes onto the floor would certainly be–congratulations on the concept!), the attention shifts away from the flag and toward the art, often thereby diminishing the flag’s importance. Of course, it could be argued that the opposite would be true, but if it were us, we would stay off the floor. Thanks again and good luck!

Honor flag presented at a military funeral

I recieved my father’s flag from the Honor Guard and have to fly back to Los Angeles. I do not want to pack in my check on luggage for obvious reasons. Is it appropriate to carry it on with me and if so should I make sure it is not visible to other passengers?

Storage of the flag

This site does not have a lot about caring for the stored flag. This is a difficult scenario, because it should not be stored with a bunch of other stuff, but alone, and you have plane rules to follow as well.
You should get a case of it's own.
Store the flag in a place that is dark (as to not fade it), clean (as to not soil it), Hard and flat (as to not crease it), and try to keep it dry.
As such, a storage container in carry on that you can place flat.
You could also give it to the attendant and let them know what it is so they can store it in a safe place if you cannot.

"Flying" the Flag (on a Plane, That is)

Hi, Belinda: It is perfectly OK to carry this flag with you on a plane, although it should indeed be folded properly into a triangle (check online for how to do this). And it is perfectly OK for other passengers to see that you are carrying it (in a zip-sealed plastic bag, we would suggest). Thanks to your father for his service and thanks to you for asking!

Light on a pole with no flag

Is it improper to let a solar light stay on, illuminating a flag pole if the flag has been taken down for the day?

Light On!

Hi, Melissa: No, it is not improper, but thanks for caring so much!

Monetary purposes?

What are the laws if any regarding the use of the flag for monetary purposes? Thank you.

$tars and $tripes

Hi, Nathan: This being the land of the free, there are none. Thanks for asking!

Proper playing of colors

I'm a retired Marine Corps officer currently serving as a civil servant on a Navy base here in San Diego. Is it proper to play colors in the morning and evening even though the flag is never raised or lowered, but stays up 24 hours? It does not seem correct to me.

Wrong Color

Hi, Mick: It is not correct–great observation!

Wrong observation of colors

I didn't think so, as it looks very strange for personnel to be 'observing' the flag that never moves.

HOWEVER - What code or instruction do I reference to call their attention to it?
They used to raise and lower the flag to colors, but IMHO it was so poorly done, someone decided just to leave it raised 24/7.

Wong observation of colors

No reference to this incorrect playing of colors?

Wong observation of colors

No reference to this incorrect playing of colors?

WRONG Observation of colors

It appears your staff gave up on this and has no reference to sight. :-(

Rendering Honor

Hi, Mick: It’s not that we gave up, but that we figured we could move on to others’ questions while you could easily find one of the many references to “To the Colors” that give its purpose as accompanying raising or lowering or rendering honor to the nation (usually in the absence of a band). As with many, many questions here, there is no specific answer to your specific case, which is one of the reasons for this column–to supply such things. You just have to apply available knowledge combined with common sense. For some reason, we just assumed that your 24/7 flag was unlit and thus out of conformance anyway, but if it is lit, then it would be OK to play “To the Colors” as a substitute for the National Anthem, if for some reason a substitute were needed. Thanks again for asking.

American Flag flying at half mast

What height are state flags and other flag?

The Height of Concern

Hi, Bernie: There are no set heights. Thanks for asking!

Olde Glory and Thin Blue Line...

... OUCH! Let's see if we step on any toes. Is it alright to put a "Thin Blue Line" stripe on the American Flag? It is out of respect for our Law Enforcement that this is done, but isn't this considered putting something on the flag? Where do we draw the line? Rainbow Stars and Stripes or Black or Red or...? Thank you!


Hi, Barbara: No, it’s not all right. Hmmm, didn’t hurt at all. Thanks for bringing this up!

Business Flag

We are considering getting a flag for our business. We currently have the American flag waving proudly in front of our organization. We are wondering if there is a "chain of command"? In other words, the American flag, followed by the State flag, and then our business? Or is it appropriate to have the American flag and directly below it our new business flag? I know that the new flag does need to be smaller than our current American Flag.

Let's Come to Order Here!

Hi, Amanda: It’s perfectly OK to fly your business flag below Old Glory with nothing in between, but if you do fly the state flag, then yes, it would be in “second place,” and your municipal flag, if you had one, would be in “third place” before your business flag. In other words, governments take precedence. Thanks for asking!

Flag at NFL games

Does the NFL receive compensation for flying the flag?

We're Punting on This One

Hi, Ken: You’d have to ask the NFL, but we certainly hope not!

flag displaying

does the size of the flag change any neighbor has 30 small flags lining her sidewalk day and night rain and sun..thinking it is not right to decorate and leave out 24 hours with no light

Size Doesn't Matter

Hi, Judy: You are correct: The rules don’t change! Thanks for asking!

Flag at sporting events

I know it's might be a controversial question at the moment, and I apologize if it is however, is it wrong to have the flag stretched above a field and being held (like in the beginning of a sporting event)?

Right, Wrong

Hi, Claire: Yes, technically it is wrong to do that. Thanks for caring!

Flag on clothing

Hi! Just wondering why it is wrong to wear a picture of the flag on clothing? Not an actual flag or piece of flag. But a printed picture of the flag. What is so wrong about it? I am proud to be an American and we are a very patriotic family. Why is this wrong? To me it shows love of country. I would just like to know what and where the reason is. Thank you Jan

Amen to Proud and Patriotic

Hi, Jan: Thanks so much for asking this excellent question, the answer to which lies in the fact that the unfurled Stars & Stripes on any fabric resemble Old Glory, which should not be worn. Why not worn? Because it gets soiled, number one, but also because by definition its primary purpose changes from representing our country to clothing the wearer. As you no doubt realize, it has nothing to do with it being a printed picture either–what’s important is that it is a flag replica. So, if you had a shirt with a picture of a furled flag hanging from a floor stand, for example, this would be perfectly OK because it does not represent unfurled Old Glory. A third reason is that a flag image on clothing does not represent it in its preferred desired state, which is “flying free.” It’s complicated, we know. But the most important thing in this whole answer is this: You are super proud and patriotic. That’s the most important thing–thank you!

Flag Etiquette at Veteran's Day Reception

Hi there,

I work at a University as an event coordinator. We are having a Veteran's Day reception where there is no stage, just chairs at the front of the event space with a table in the middle for remarks. What is the proper way to display the American flag at this event?

Flag Setup on the Fly

Hi, Cora: There are a number of options here. If there is a background or backdrop, you could mount a flag on it either horizontally or vertically, with its union (blue) to the upper left, and centered behind the table. You could also have Old Glory on a floor stand at the left of the table as you face it, a few feet away, either even with the table or slightly behind it. You could also have this stand centered behind the table. Finally, technically you could hang Old Glory horizontally from the front of the center of the table, union to the upper left, but this is not preferred because in some respects it equates Old Glory with a tablecloth. Thanks for asking, and good luck!

Flags at football games

What is the proper protocol for a flag brought to the field of a college football game by an honor guard of soldiers/ROTC, etc. Should festivities begin immediately after the National Anthem, or should the crowd remain silent and festivities only begin when the flag is retired from the field?

Retirement Behavior

Hi, Patrick: Congratulations to you and thanks for pointing out this common oversight. While the colors are being retired from the field, indeed they should continue to be treated with silence and respect. However, as we know all too well, it is hard enough if not impossible to keep the crowd from cheering even before the anthem has finished. No doubt most if not all of this is simply due to the fact that they know no better. So, we choose to look upon this enthusiasm as endorsement of Old Glory, endorsement of our nation, endorsement of their freedom to be at the game, excitement about the day, and everything good–in other words, that their patriotic cup is not half-empty, but way more than half-full. Thanks again!

Condition of flag

The rules above state the flag is no longer in the condition of the emblem, is there any more specific directions? I think it embarrassing that our school is flying a US flag that is completely shredded on the end of the stripes and has several large rips going through the middle of the flag, our Kentucky state flag is in a similar condition.


Hi, Lynette: Thanks for being on the lookout for this. You should definitely call this to the attention of the school principal. If that doesn’t work, then the school board. If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to contact the local American Legion or VFW and get them to go to bat to fix this. Thanks for caring so much!

Flag pole topper

What is the correct etiquette for placing a topper/finale on a flag pole above the US Flag? Is an eagle proper? If so, what position should the eage be landing? Head down or head up?


Hi, Melenah: The (hopefully) bald eagle is a fine finial for Old Glory’s flagpole. Usually, its head is up, and we’re not sure we’ve even seen one with its head down. But if you’re referring to a pose in which the eagle is alighting on some prey and its head is below its wingtips, that is perfectly OK, too. Thanks for being so patriotic to ask!

Christmas lights on a United States Flag Pole

Is it ok to hang Christmas lights on the flagpole underneath the flag making it look like a Christmas tree? Also, is it ok to plant flowers underneath the flagpole?


Hi, Jennifer: Yikes, where are you coming up with these?! :) It is not cool to hang Christmas tree lights below Old Glory to form a tree effect, but planting flowers at the base of the flagpole is perfectly respectful and OK. Thanks for the great questions!

Framing a presentation flag

Is it acceptable to take a flag presented with a certificate and frame it for display on an office wall? If so, are there any framing guidelines?


Hi, Ann: It is perfectly acceptable to frame a flag with or without a certificate, as long as the framing is done tastefully and the flag is behind glass. Old Glory can lie flat against the wall in the frame, with its union (blue) to the upper left, or folded into its proper triangular shape. Thanks for asking!

Flag position

If you are displaying the American flag and a second campaign flag with the President’s name on separate polls attached to a house above the front entrance is it ok to have the flag with the President’s name Higher than the American flag?

Flag Positions

No, the American flag should always be flown above or at the same height of any other flag that it is displayed alongside. If they are to be displayed at the same height, the other flag should be flown on the American flag’s left side, rather than right side.


I have heard that you are not suppose to make a quilt like the USA flag. I have been wanting to do this but if it is not right i would like to know. Hopefully i will get an answer to this question so i can pass it on to my quilting group.

Quilting the Flag

While it is frowned upon to embroider or print the flag onto shirts or other commercial items, there is no rule against creating a flag in the form of a quilt. And, personally, we believe that the time and effort one would put into making a quilt of the American flag would certainly reflect the respect one has for the flag. Quilt on!

Notifying Businesses of Flying Torn or Tattered Flags

Recently I've noticed many businesses flying Old Glory while it's ends are torn our tattered. Who can help them to properly and respectfully replace the flag. I've thought of Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts. I've even thought of buying a flag for the business and giving the business a copy of the Flag Code. My one request would be to pay it forward and have them find and replace another businesses worn flag. Thoughts?

Flag destruction

Your local American Legion or VFW likely has a receptacle that accepts flags worn beyond its respectful use.


why should our flag never touch the ground?

A Dirty Answer

Hi, Alana: We had to ponder this awhile to make sure that it wasn’t some sort of trick question, but we think the answer is: Because it might get dirty. Good question, though, thanks!

Flag etiquette

What is the proper etiquette regarding flying or not flying the flag at a vacant fire station?

No Cause for Alarm

Hi, Ken: The U.S. flag can be flown virtually anywhere (in the U.S., that is), as long as it is displayed respectfully and properly, so at a vacant fire station would be fine. Thanks for caring!

Leaving a flag at half-staff

What is the etiquette on:

Someone leaving a flag on half-staff way longer than they should?

Overstaying Your Flagcome

Hi, Donna: Often people don’t realize when the half-staff period is over, so a gentle reminder is perfectly proper. Or even a “Would you like me to raise your flag for you now that the half-staff period is over?” But it’s important to remember that Old Glory at half-staff is better than no Old Glory at all. Thanks for asking!

Soiled American flag

The flag has been displayed during camp-outs, and has acquired either soot or dirt. Does it have to be destroyed? The soot or soil looks as if it would clean off easily. Thank you in advance.

A Clean Answer

Hi, Bradley: It is perfectly OK to respectfully clean, wash, and/or dry Old Glory. Thanks for asking!

Displaying the flag

My company has three flags on display. The U.S. Flag in the center; company flag; and the state flag. My question is does the U.S. Flag have to be bigger than the other two. It is in the middle and it is flown the highest of the three; just curious if it is supposed to be bigger in size than the others. I know it should not be smaller; but can it be of equal size?

Size Matters

Hi, Ricky: In the world of Old Glory, it’s position that matters, not size. If your center flagpole is higher than the others, then having all flags of the same size is fine (and the state flag would be on the left as you look at them). If all three flagpoles were the same size, then Old Glory would be on the far left as you looked at them, state in the middle, and company on the right. Thanks for asking!

Half Staff with 2 countires flags

When an American flag is flown at half staff, is it mandatory to remove the Canadian flag? Or is it correct etiquette to fly it also at half staff? I seem to believe it is incorrect to fly a foreign flag at half mast in our country. In other wards, I think it's flag can only be at half staff when in Canada ,but not in the US.

Half 'n' Half

Hi, Pat: Thanks for this great question! You’re right: It wouldn’t seem correct to “force” Canada or another country to be at half-staff just because we were, although of course we could just infer (probably incorrectly) that they would also want to honor whatever we were. There are two choices for civilians: To lower other flag(s) to half-mast if on separate poles, because none should fly higher than Old Glory, or to take them down temporarily. In some military instances, it is OK to fly Old Glory at half-staff while foreign flags on separate pole remain aloft, thereby not “imposing” half-staff on others. If both flags are on the same pole, then ordinarily the non-U.S. flag would be removed rather than flown less than halfway up. Thanks again!

Question About American Flag

I think American Flag in one book printed wrong where should I contact?

Attn: Publisher

Hi, vk: Thanks for spotting this–contact the Publisher listed in the book!

Question About American Flag

Thanks for the revert. Can I send you the picture to check if the printed flag is wrong or right before sending to the publisher?

Attn: Publisher

Can you describe what is “wrong” with it?

respecting the flag

i have observed an American flag being flown day and night without being lowered or with a light shinning on it during nights at a large apartment complex nearby . it is on a sixty foot mast towering over the complex entrance and office building . i have mentioned to them a number of times that they must , at least at night , have a light shine on it. they told me the light at its base has been out for the past few years . .. my question is , is there an organization or patriotic group that can speak a little louder than just me ? why don't the American Legion or some other organization have representatives or members that scout out these disrespectful acts and then with one stronger voice get the results that I alone don't seem to have ... .. .

To Serve Again

Hi, Jack: Thank you for being so patriotic as to ask this great question. We have always found that local American Legion posts, VFWs, etc., are often ready to serve again by making polite contacts with people who are flying Old Glory improperly. The thing is, they can’t afford to have volunteers out on patrol all the time looking for “bad” flags–they need to be informed by folks like you. So try that out. And by the way, Scouts are also sometimes willing to step forward–and it’s hard to turn them down. Thanks again!

To serve again reply

I found the question/concern about not lighting the flag at night ironic as my experience has been the city that violates this the most is our nation's capitol, Washington DC. There are incalculable numbers of U.S. flags that are flown all night with no light.

Flag display direction from deck railing

I have an unusual question! I have 2 flag pole brackets. One for the American flag and the other for the Texas flag. I know if the brackets were in a normal spot, both facing south, the American flag should be on my left and the Texas flag on my right as I am looking at the house from the outside. However, I could not place them normally as there is an electrical wire that is too close! So, I put one bracket on the side facing west, and the other facing east around from the south railing. So now which flag goes where? Hope you're not confused!

Where's the Compass?

Hi, Linda: Confused? Us? Well … not any more than usual, we guess. First of all, compass direction has nothing to do with how and where to fly Old Glory, although many, many fine folks like you often think so. Whether your house faces north or west or whatever and a flag or two face in other directions doesn’t really matter. Here’s what does: What it looks like when viewed “from the street,” or in front of the house. In this case, if your house faces south, Old Glory should be flying from the left or west side, and the Lone Star from the right or east side. Just as you thought! We think. Or maybe we’re confused …

Displaying the flag from deck railing Part 2

I think you did misunderstand my question. lol! If I am looking at the front of my house, which faces south, The flags are pointing east and west. Not pointing towards the south. So, If I go to the east side of the house, and while looking at the Texas flag, it is on my left. If I go to the west side of the house, and while looking at the US flag, it is on my right. I believe it should be the other way around. I'm thinking that because IF they were on the same railing, both pointing east or west, the US flag would be on my left and the Texas flag on my right. . It's my understanding while viewing the flags from the outside, while the flags are pointed at you, the US flag is on the left and the state flag is on the right. BUT These are on opposite railings. Now are you confused???

Flag Directions

Your thinking is ultimately correct; the US flag should be to the left of the Texas flag when they are viewed together from head-on. However, considering that the front of the house is the south side and that this is the side that would be most often viewed by passersby and visitors (we assume), the way you have them now—with the US flag on the left side of the house and the Texas flag on the right—is most correct for the circumstances. We commend you for thinking so hard about this—you certainly got our gears turning!

Flag direction from railing Pt 3!

So even-though the flags are not pointing in the same direction-Texas is east and US is west? West side of house has a street and east side is another lot, no street. Now I'm so confused!!!!! lol!

Flag Directions

You’re not alone!!

Yes, we would put the US flag on the west side of the house and the Texas flag on the east side even though they are facing opposite directions. If you were to view your house from the west, you would only see one flag, presumably (and the same from the east side). However, from the south side, you will see both flags, which is why their placement matters from this perspective and why you should keep the US flag on the left. 

Wearing the flag

Does the Flag Code address the issue of wearing the America Flag as a garment in any form? Doing so looks tacky and disrespectful (my opinion) and doesn’t seem to be something you learn about in school.

Clothes'd Topic

Hi, Sean: Old Glory should not be worn as (part of) a garment–and “tacky” is too good a word for doing so! You are correct!

Flag presented to me at my husband's funeral yesterday`

After the folding, the flag was encased in a very nice plastic triangle container. I bought a triangle wooden case for it today. Should I remove the plastic cover? I have heard that the flag should never be removed from the wooden case after it is placed inside. Thank you.

An Honorable Question

Hi, Alice: Thank you for honoring your husband by caring so much about his flag, and please accept our sincere condolences. It is perfectly OK to remove a flag from a case, as long as everything is done respectfully. You can leave the flag inside the plastic case for extra protection, if it then still fits in the wooden case, or not. Whatever provides the best combination of protection and viewability, in whatever case(s) you want. Thank you again. No doubt your husband is touched by your concern.

Slack lines

There was recently an argument regarding a flag being flown at half mast at my place of work. While the height of our flag is NOT the subject of argument, it is the extreme slackness in the lines holding her up that became an issue. It has since been tightened, but it looked sloppy. Are there guidelines for that?

Guidelines for Guide Lines?

Hi, Victoria: Thanks for this excellent question! While there are no specific requirements regarding keeping the halyard trim and snug, having loose lines would seem to fall under the rubric of displaying Old Glory in a totally respectful environment, which would not include sloppiness. Thanks again and thanks for your patriotic eagle eye!

Who can raise and lower U.S. Flags

I have a friend who is a refugee. He works maintainence at a local hotel. He wants to know if others than U.S. Citizens can raise and lower the flag.

Raising Questions

Hi, Paul: Yes, non-U.S. citizens may raise and lower Old Glory, as no doubt countless non-citizen U.S. armed services personnel have done over the centuries. Thanks for asking!


I saved a folded flag from an abandoned house would it be alright to keep ? The person that left the house knowingly left it. It upset me to think about it ending up in a garbage bin. My father and uncles were vets i would love to put it in a case would this be proper ?

Casing the Flag

Hi, Laura: As long as the flag is clean and folded properly, it would be not only proper to display it in a case, but also a great idea! Thanks for caring so much to ask!

Art project

I have recently seen 'art' where an artist has cut up old flags and framed them so that the nice side is displayed and he backside you can see the seams and grommets etc. This artist also uses cut up flags to make 'patriotic' art where he paints over the flag I suppose to enhance the colors and glued the bits to give the appearance the flag remnant is waving in the wind. I find it so offensive and the artist claims he is doing nothing wrong.

How Great Thy Art

Hi, Viola: Beauty–and propriety–lie in the art of the beholder. It is really not cool to be cutting up Old Glory and otherwise messing with her, but technically speaking the artist is indeed doing nothing wrong. Very thankfully for us, freedom of speech (and thus art) trumps almost everything else, including flag etiquette. How ironic it is that cutting up something can serve only to strengthen and reinforce what it stands for, but this is one of the great mystical attributes of Old Glory herself. Thanks for being so patriotic!

Wooden flag

I made a wooden flag, with appropriate sized proportion and colors, is this not proper or ok for a flag?

Wooden You Know It

Hi, James: Thank you for taking the time to ask this great question. The U.S. flag is made of fabric. What you have made is a piece of flag art. It’s OK for you to do this, and we know that you’ll display it in a very respectful way. Thanks again!

U.S. Flag display

I have my Fathers flag from his military funeral. If it folded properly could one not make a glass front case and display it in ones home?

Go for It!

Hi, Michael: Sounds like a great idea, and thanks so much to your late father for his service!

The flag

Can you be fined or Prosicuted

Half staff procedures

How long would the US Flag be at half-staff to remember the 59 people killed in Las Vegas properly.

Half mast.

We have 3 flags at work the tallest in the middle is the US Flag then to each side is the shorter poles with the State flag and the company flag. When we put the US flag at half mast do we also put the state and company flags at half mast also? Nobody seems to know whats the correct thing to do. We have been lowering them all to half mast. Is this correct ?

Right You Are!

Hi, Rick:  Yes, correct (or take them down)! Thanks for asking!

Flags Printed on Beach Towels

I've recently seen beach towels that have the US Flag printed on them. Several retail outlets are selling them. Is a towel with the US Flag printed on it a towel, OR... Is a towel with the US Flag printed on it a flag? To me, it certainly seems to be inappropriate and disrespectful to sit, lay, or dry one's body on a towel that looks like a US Flag. I look forward to your comment(s).

Time to Towel Off

Hi, Howard: it is not proper to print the U.S. flag on a towel or use a flag as a towel–as you well and patriotically suspect! Thanks for caring!

Number of personnel to raise and lower flag

So, my question is, how many people are required to assist with the raising and lowering of the flag? Also, can you please maybe provide me a link to this information? Reason being, I recently started a new job and I could have sworn that it takes 2 people to raise and lower the flag, as I am a veteran this is what my gut feeling states. My boss seems to think that it only takes 1 person to raise, lower, and fold the flag. I'm looking for an answer and a gentle way to inform him , if I am correct.

Depending on the size of the

Depending on the size of the flag you're using you might need 3 or more people. I've helped raise and lower the Colors at Camp Pendleton, at guard duty for during my last month of service. One person works the rope very slowly while the other person catches the tail end of the Colors. It continues to be gradually lowered the person holding the tail ends, now should be both corners of the NON-BLUE side, the person walks carefully (not to stumble) away from the flag pole to prevent the slack touching the ground. Eventually It should be nearly horizontal to the floor WITHOUT touching the floor. The key is that this method insures the flag does NOT touch the ground. Now you DO NOT have to burn the flag if it touches the ground but while I was in the Marine Corps, if it ever did we had to burn it. I heard of anytime of the flag touching the ground, even when I was deployed twice. All you have to inform him is that the flag 'should' not touch the ground, nothing compelling civilians.


I HAVEN'T heard of anytime of the flag touching the ground. Never encounter that situation, so I do NOT know the proper Marine Corps etiquette. Also with practice you can fold it, triangular style, while the flag is being lowered. Lastly, after a month or so most Marines were able to lower non Garrison alone (25 foot and heavy wool flag, not worth the risk). However, it was only done if we could only spare 1 Marine due to being heavily understaffed during guard duty, 4 hours off a day at some points (20 hours on, 4 hours sleep, 20 hours back on). This was very rare.

Hello this is a great read. I

Hello this is a great read. I work at a hotel where the flag is displayed 24/7 with proper lightning of course. Since the half staff announcement i was curious since i dont have to raise the flag do i just lower it and leave it till friday or should i raise then lower it daily (sundown raised)(sun up half staff)? Thanks

a half-staff display at a 24/7 establishment

Hi, Ken, Thank you for your question. When flown at half-staff, the flag should be hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position (you may have read this above; repeating here for your convenience). Because your company illuminates the flag 24/7, you can probably leave it at half-staff. We can find no reference to sunset/sunrise, however, it would be fine if, each morning, you raised it to the peak and then back to half-staff position in acknowledgement of the 24-hour period that has passed.

Thank you for your enthusiasm for this page and Web site, btw.

Half staff

If a flag is ordered half staff by the president and the flag is lit and stays up during night hours does it stay at half staff at night?

Half-staff at night, when illuminated?

Hi, Nick, Thank you for your question; apologies for the delay in responding. When flown at half-staff, the flag should be hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position (you may have read this above; repeating here for your convenience). If, as you say, your company illuminates the flag 24/7, you can leave it at half-staff overnight. However, it would be fine if, each morning, you raised the flag to the peak and then back to half-staff position in acknowledgement of the 24-hour period that has passed.

Painting the Flag on a wall

I work in a VA hospital and there's a request to paint the flag on the wall lining the hallway where deceased Veterans will be taken to the hearse. Is this OK?

Up Against the Wall

Hi, Cindy: It is usually not a good or proper idea to paint Old Glory on a wall, where it just becomes … well … a wall. Far better to mount a fabric flag against the wall or just have one (or many!) on a stanchion(s) in the hallway. Thank you for caring so much to ask!

Customer Service Question

I work for Grace Alley (American Flag Company). We also sell 6 ft flagpoles that may be attached via bracket to a home, fence, post, etc.
Today a customer asked this question:
"Would you please let me know if one is required to lower the flag at night if it is on a pole that is not on the ground such as your pole's?"
Does anyone know the answer? Your help is greatly appreciated!

Right at Night

Hi, Shelynn: Thanks for this great question. A flag on a pole in a bracket needs to either be taken down at night or lit. Thanks again!

When flying flag at 1/2 staff with other countries flags

Should other flags be lower than 1/2staff?

American flag

When the flag is at 1/2 staff should our state flag be at 1/2 staff also?

A True Follower

Hi, Susan: Yes–the state flag always “follows” Old Glory regarding half-staff … but not vice versa. Thanks for being so patriotic!

Patriotic Bunting

The President has ordered all flags at half staff until October 6th in response to the Las Vegas attack. In addition to flying the flag, is it appropriate to hang patriotic bunting across my porch to honor the victims? Thank You.

Bunting Basics

Hi, Anne: Good thinking! But the way to do this is to incorporate black streamers or ribbon into your bunting, as this is not so much a celebration (bunting alone) as a mourning and remembrance (bunting plus black). You could use black crepe paper (which, remember, might bleed in the rain) or black ribbon. You could simply hang some black streamers from the top point of your leftmost “swoop.” Or, you could mount a black bow at the center point of your total display, with or without black streamers hanging from it. Or, you could swoop some black ribbon right along the path of your bunting itself. The main thing is that your use of black should not be garish, but rather simple and profound, just like your–and our–respect for the victims, the injured, and their loved ones. Thank you for thinking of this!

1790 Flag

We have an historic home, built in 1790. Would it be proper for me to hang the US 1790 flag (13 stars) outside of our home or should I hang our current US flag? Thank you.

Historically Speaking, Part III

Hi, Cindy: Sounds like a lovely home. You can certainly fly the 1790, but it would not be replacing the current Old Glory. See the responses to “Flying Historical Flags” on September 14, 2017, and June 30, 2016, below. And thanks for asking!

hanging flag from large front porch

Is it ok to hang the very large American flag from a front porch from ceiling to porch from two hooks as long as blue part faces a certain way and if porch faces north to south how would we hang the flag. We would like to hang from two hooks at ceiling between porch posts we can put a light on it at night to shine on the flag not behind it.

Go for It

Hi, Robert: This is a great idea, and the orientation of the porch really doesn’t have anything to do with it. The blue union (stars) of the flag should be to the upper left as you look at it “from the street” and of course be sure that it doesn’t touch the ground/porch and is lit at night. Thanks from the Old Farmer for doing this!

flying with a NFL flag

Can I fly a NFL or any other sports flag below the American flag on the same staf?

The Short Answer

Hi, Mike: Yes, as long as the flag and what it represents are in good taste (for example, while technically proper, it would not be cool to fly as a second flag one that was a depiction of someone desecrating a flag). Thanks for asking!

Can you wear the flag printed in a shirt

Can one wear the flag printed on a shirt ? Or is that considered advertising?

Just Plain Wrong

Hi, Apolinar: The U.S. flag should not be printed on a t-shirt, not because it is advertising, but because to do so is disrespectful, in poor taste, and just plain wrong. Thank you for asking!

"Printed on" distiction

In other comments you guys refer to depictions of the flag on a shirt being fine in it's "unfurled" state, or that "art" depictions of the flag are fine as it's art.
I can't post images for examples but:
What about images of things assembled together to look like the flag (montage)?
- where the flag isn't colored and not an exact print of the flag (tattered/distressed or flowing)?
- stars & stripes imagery that is not in a rectangular shape?

Is there a difference between using a straight flat print of the complete flag and using obvious flag invoking imagery?

Large Flags Displayed Horizontally at Sporting Events

When the NFL for instance, displays an extremely large flag horizontally on the field during the National Anthem--often with military personnel assisting--does this violate Section 10.176C of the US Flag Code, i.e. "The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free?"

Horizontal Flag Display

I’m interested, too, in knowing if the American flag can properly be displayed horizontally as has been done during sporting events while the national anthem is sung.

Flat Out Wrong--Sorta

Hi, Rebecca and John: You are correct in reminding everyone that carrying Old Glory “flat” for the purpose of display is technically wrong. However, it’s important to remember both that the U.S. Flag Code is voluntary and that this flexibility, as long as it is exercised respectfully, is a freedom for which countless Americans have fought in many ways. In cases like this, before we throw the book at people who may not be following the book, we always use the very unofficial Old Farmer’s Almanac Service Member Test, which is this: If you were to refer the technically improper usage of Old Glory to a service member on the front lines fighting for it, what would they say? In the case of a giant Old Glory being respectfully carried before many thousands of respectful Americans, we suspect that the practice would be approved. Thank you so much for your patriotism and caring so much!

Flag Placement in Photos

Great information, however I'm still wondering about the placement of a flag in personal portraits. I've heard that the stars of the flag need to be to on the left side of the person whose portrait is being taken. Please clarify. Thanks much!

Proper Portraits

Hi, Lori: If Old Glory is hanging from a floor staff behind the subject of the portrait, then the staff should be to the observer’s left (behind the right shoulder of the portrait subject). The same positioning holds true for our flag’s blue union with its stars when the flag is mounted or flying behind the subject. Thanks for asking this great question!

Flag Placement in Photos

Great information, however I'm still wondering about the placement of a flag in personal portraits. I've heard that the stars of the flag need to be to on the left side of the person whose portrait is being taken. Please clarify. Thanks much!

Flag Placement in Photos

Great information, however I'm still wondering about the placement of a flag in personal portraits. I've heard that the stars of the flag need to be to on the left side of the person whose portrait is being taken. Please clarify. Thanks much!

Just Clarifying

I'm pleased to see that there's a code of honor for our Star Spangled Banner, but I need some clarification on what exactly the rules state about the design being used in advertising, embroidery, etc. Some hoohahs on Facebook were causing some controversy about how red blooded Americans detest the burning of our flag in a movement of anarchy and disrespect, but should "be ashamed for the use of the design in products and advertising". I read earlier that using an ACTUAL flag for such purposes is wrong and disrespectful, but what if it is only an "inspired by" design? The poster showed the flag being held horizontal over a playing field at a football game, the design featured on some Budweiser cans, boots, socks, pillows/cusions, etc. So where's the actual offence? The use of the design, or the use of an actual flag in the product? (Also, regarding the football game, is there an exception for sports or large national events?)

And Now for a Commercial Announcement ...

Hi, Josh: Thank you for asking this question and raising this widespread concern. The U.S. Flag Code strictly prohibits the use of Old Glory’s image in any kind of advertising at all. Period. However, it’s important to note that adherence to the Flag Code is voluntary. This is because the rights of free speech can often conflict with any mandatory rules for the display of anything. To further complicate matters, some jurisdictions have passed laws restricting the commercial (but not private) display of Old Glory images, but even these have been challenged. Regarding flag-“inspired” designs or whatever, again, there is no formal ban on these. In short, from a technical standpoint, you can do whatever you want with Old Glory images in most cases, and the beauty, propriety, and patriotism of what you do will lie in the eyes of the beholder(s). It’s important to remember, too, that every time you see Old Glory, whether as a flag or inspired image or advertising, it should serve as an honored reminder of all of the sacrifices made across the centuries for the very purpose of allowing people to be free with its use. And no, there are no exceptions for big events. Thanks again!

Just Clarifying

I, too, have seen people discussing this issue. So I want to be sure that I have this right...

You can put our great American Flag on underwear, paper plates, boots, socks, bathing suits, beer cans and basically whatever you want because you feel like it's honoring and paying tribute to our flag. Right? However, The U.S. Code says you can not do those things as they are disrespectful. Here's where it gets complicated... But because of our Constitutional right to Freedom of Speech people say you can do whatever YOU want. I think I'm starting to get this.

So say you go to someones house and they are having a party... It's okay to use paper plates or napkins with flags on them, right? What about toilet paper? Is that okay? I've seen flag toilet paper at a Fourth of July party... I'm not making this up! I thought it was a bit crazy but I guess they thought it was honoring the flag! I mean... Fourth of July... if that's not celebrating America I don't know what is? Right!?

But kneeling before the flag... I mean sheesh!!! THAT is not okay!! Right?? So the U.S. Honor Code says you shouldn't let the flag touch the ground, but if you want to use it as a floor mat like President George Bush did then, it's okay to do... Freedom of Speech and all. I got it. It totally comes down to Freedom of Speech... so I shouldn't feel bad if I throw away an American Flag paper plate that had chili dogs all over it. I for sure shouldn't care that someone wears the American Flag on the soles of their boots!!! But we should all boycott football because someone wants to practice THEIR Constitutional Right and kneel during the National Anthem. Now it makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for the clarification.

Personally, I think we are all hypocrites... When I watch a game at home I don't stand when I hear the Star Spangled Banner... I don't. Do you? Good on you if you do!! Really. If anything I've learned a lot about the American Flag today.... so there is that!

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

Flags in front of schools--raising and lowering

What is the proper procedure(s) for raising and/or lowering the flag that is flown in front of a school?
My granddaughter attends a local primary school. At the close of school, two students come out and lower the flag. All they do is just lower it down, gather it up the best they can, and take it in doors. I have even seen one of them wrap it around his/her body to carry it indoors. The parents standing around the entrance to the school (and the flag pole) do nothing during the lowering/raising (do not stand up, do not put their hand over their heart, do not take off their hats, do not stop talking on the phone, etc)
What is proper.


Hi, Irvin: Thank you for this excellent question. When Old Glory is raised or lowered, people present should be quietly standing with hand over heart. Students should never wrap the flag around themselves, but it is OK to temporarily and carefully gather up the flag to take it indoors for proper folding and storage, rather than folding it immediately upon take-down. Thanks again for being so patriotic!

flying flag

I have 3 flag poles.They are the same hieght,same size.From the left to right,fly US flag,VN flag ,Budda Flag.Is this right?.Thank you.