United States Flag Etiquette

updated 10/24/2018 3:41pm

Flag Etiquette

  • The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless it is designed for inclement weather use.

  • The flag should be lighted at all times, either by natural light or a dedicated means of lighting.

• The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. The only time is it flown upside down is as a distress signal.

  • The blue field of stars should be at the peak of the staff.

  • The flag should not be used for any decoration. You may use bunting of blue, and white and red stripes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

• The flag should not be used for advertising purposes. Advertising signs should not be attached to the pole.

• The flag should not be part of a costume or athletic uniform. A flag patch may be used on the uniform or military personnel, firefighters, police officers and members of patriotic organizations.

• The flag should not be marked or have insignias, letters, words, numbers, figures or drawings of any kind placed on it, or attached.

• When lowering the flag no part should touch the ground or any other object: it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

  • The flag should be kept neat and clean and mended when necessary.

  • When the flag is worn and it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. (VFW, American Legion or the Elk's provide this service)

    Flown at Half-staff
    The flag should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By "half- staff" is meant snapping the flag to bottom snap of the middle ring the snap on the bottom ring. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the President of the United States.

    Flown with Non-National Flags
    The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs. 

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