Old Glory Flag Etiquette
Every 4th, as a reminder, we repost the dos and don’ts when it comes to Old Glory…
When displaying the American flag, D.O. the following:
- Display the U.S. flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open. When a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
- Place the U.S. Flag above all other flags on a single staff or lanyard.
- When flags are displayed in a row, the U.S. flag goes to the observer’s left. Flags of other nations are flown at the same height. State and local flags are traditionally flown lower.
- When used during a marching ceremony or parade with other flags, the U.S. Flag will be to the observer’s left.
- On special days, the flag may be flown at half-staff. On Memorial Day, it is flown at half-staff until noon and then raised.
- When flown at half-staff, it should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be raised again to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By “half-staff” is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spearheads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the President of the United States.
If your flag cannot be flown at half-staff, the American Legion says that attaching a black ribbon or streamer to the top of the flag is an acceptable alternative. The ribbon should be the same width as a stripe on the flag and the same length as the flag. This is called a mourning ribbon. If your flag is wall-mounted, three black mourning bows should be attached to the top edge of the flag, one at each corner and one in the center.
- When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union (blue field of stars) to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
- When the flag is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union (blue field of stars) should be uppermost, and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window, it should be displayed in the same way — with the union or blue field to the observer’s left.
- When the flag is displayed on a car, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
- When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
When saluting the American flag, D.O. the following:
- All persons present in uniform (military, police, fire, etc.) should render the military salute. Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute.
- All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.
When stowing or disposing of the American flag, DO the following:
- The flag should be folded in its customary manner.
- It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure the complete burning of the flag.
- Place the flag on the fire.
- The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and have a brief period of silent reflection.
- After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
- Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.
Quick list of Old Glory Flag Etiquette Don’ts:
- Don’t dip the U.S. Flag for any person, flag, or vessel.
- Don’t let the flag touch the ground.
- Don’t fly the flag upside down unless there is an emergency.
- Don’t carry the flag flat or have things in it.
- Don’t use the flag as clothing.
- Don’t store the flag where it can get dirty.
- Don’t use it as a cover.
- Don’t fasten it or tie it back. Always allow it to fall free.
- Don’t draw on or otherwise mark the flag.
- Don’t use the flag for decoration. Use bunting with blue on top, then white, then red.
Thanks to our friends at Military.com for helping us to bring the above information to you
Wishing you a safe and happy Independence day!
My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of and which no other people on earth enjoy!