A Quick Guide to Proper American Flag Etiquette

For the 150,000 Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs in the United States, learning to properly care for the American flag is one of the first things they do. Given to all troop members who take part in flag ceremonies, the flag etiquette award recognizes that they know how to display the American flag in a variety of settings.

The care of the flag is so important that there is a flag code, which is the federal law that sets forth guidelines on the displaying of the American flag.

If you want to buy an American flag to put up in your yard, at a business, or even on the side of your R.V. for camping there are a few rules that you should follow. Continue reading for a quick guide to flag care in the United States.

When to Display the American Flag

It is appropriate to fly the American flag daily, especially on National holidays, such as the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day. If the flag is being hung outside on the side of a building or a flagpole, it is proper for the flag to be up from sunrise to sunset.

The exception to the rule is if the flag is illuminated, such as with a spotlight, then it can remain throughout the night. In times of crisis or on special days, the flag may be flown at half-staff.

The recommendation is that the flag is not flown during inclement weather.

Where to Display the Flag

The U.S. flag can be shown almost anywhere, as long as it is appropriate. From Federal and National buildings to schools and hospitals, the flag is on display.

The American flag is also used on uniforms for sports teams, such as the Olympic National Team, as well as on uniforms for scouts, like the Girl Scouts of America.

Businesses also may fly the flag as a sign of respect, even though it’s not mandatory. You can buy a new American flag online from places like ultimateflags.com if you are in the market for one.

How to Display the Flag

On a flagpole, the U.S. flag should be the highest-flying flag, with state and local flags flying underneath. The only exceptions are the U.N. flag and the Church Pennant flag.

When the flag is hanging on a wall, the blue section or Union should be displayed to the viewer’s left. This is true whether hung vertically or horizontally.

If the flag is in a group of other flags or a row, it should be hung to the furthest left. The flags of other countries are flown at the same height, but state flags will be flown lower.

Flag of Freedom

Learning the proper way to display the American flag is a sign of respect towards the colors of the country. The flag is a symbol of freedom, hope, and perseverance and should be treated as such.

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