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Flag Etiquette

Displaying Your Flag

Choose a location to display your flag that does not involve excessive exposure to the elements. Do not display flag set in inclement weather, such as storms or windy days.

Flag Etiquette

The fundemental rule of flag etiquette is: treat all flags with respect and common sense.

The Stars and Stripes takes precedence over all other flags when flown within the United States. It should not be flown lower than another flag nor should it be smaller than another flag flown with it. However, other flags may be flown at the same height and in the same size. Other national flags should not be smaller nor flown lower than the Stars and Stripes when displayed together. If it is not possible to display two or more national flags at the same height, it is not proper to display them together at all.

The point of honor is on the extreme left from the standpoint of the observer. The order from left to right of flags flown together is: the Stars and Stripes, other national flags in alphabetical order, state flags, county and city flags, organizational flags, personal flags.

If one flag is at half-staff in mourning, other flags flown with it should be at half-staff. First, raise the flags to their peak, then lower to half-staff. The Stars and Stripes is raised first and lowered last.

A salute ( hand over heart for those not in uniform) should be rendered when the flag is raised, lowered, or carried by on parade; when the pledge of allegiance is recited, and when the national anthem is played (unless the flag is not present).

It is proper to fly the Stars and Stripes at night, but only if it is spotlighted.

No flag should be flown during weather which might damage it, based on a common sense interpretation of circumstances.

To extend the life of a flag, when it is torn it should be repaired and under no circumstances should a flag be folded when wet. When a flag is no longer dignified in appearance and cannot be repaired, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner (burned or sealed in a bag or box before being put in the trash).

In a public gathering (lecture hall, church, etc.) the Stars and Stripes should be to the right of the speakers or on the wall behind them.

The canton of the flag (the blue field with the 50 stars) should always be to the observers left except: 1) when dispalyed on a casket; 2) when displayed as a decal on the right side of a vehicle (bus, truck, plane, etc.); 3) when worn as a patch on the right arm (but use on the left arm is preferable).

The Stars and Stripes should be  in the center of a group of flags only when: 1) the center pole is taller than the others, or 2) when a fan like arrangement makes the center pole higher than the others.

It is not illegal or improper to fly any flag (state, ethnic group, organization, etc.) alone. But it is always preferable to display the Stars and Stripes at the same time.