With Flag Day this week and the 4th of July just around the corner, here are tips from the official Rules of American Flag Etiquette on the proper way to represent.
– Display the flag only from sunrise to sunset. If you plan to leave your flag up overnight, remember that it has to be illuminated.
– Do not display the flag in inclement weather unless it is an all-weather flag.
– Do not let the flag touch the ground.
– When not on display, the flag should be respectfully folded into a triangle.
– 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.
– 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 be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
– The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.
– 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.
DISPLAYING THE AMERICAN FLAG ON A VEHICLE:
– 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.
DISPLAYING THE AMERICAN FLAG ALONGSIDE OTHER FLAGS:
– In the United States, 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.
HOW NOT TO DISPLAY THE AMERICAN FLAG
The flag and its likeness should be treated with respect. Its image should not be cheapened or tarnished by improper use.
- 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, unless 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.
Happy Flag Day!