Rules of the American Flag

Displaying an American flag is a terrific way to clearly show off your appreciate for our nation. Even so, your act of patriotism can quickly grow to be (unintentionally) disrespectful if you might be unaware of an essential established of procedures. The U.S. Flag Code, set up by Congress in 1942, delivers pointers for dealing with this countrywide image with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all times, but the Flag Code especially recommends exhibiting it on Independence Day, as effectively as other important holidays like Flag Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.

Take be aware: Memorial Day has its individual flag etiquette. The American flag must be flown at 50 %-mast from dawn right until noon, then lifted to entire mast for the relaxation of the vacation.

Brush up on the relaxation of your flag etiquette in advance of Memorial Day weekend by learning how to fly the Stars and Stripes the correct way.

You can find a correct and a completely wrong way to hold the flag vertically.

Do not hold your flag backwards, upside down, or in another inappropriate vogue. If you might be hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or in opposition to a wall), the Union portion with the stars must go on the observer’s remaining. By no means dip the flag to any person or anything.

american flag on wooden house by wet road

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Pictures

Avoid permitting the flag contact the ground.

Prevent your flag from touching the ground, ground, or drinking water. It truly is not important to dispose of your flag if it accidentally hits the pavement, but you must make certain that it is really in excellent condition ahead of exhibiting it all over again.

Know the variation involving 50 %-personnel and 50 %-mast.

There is a variation involving 50 %-personnel and 50 %-mast, even nevertheless they are typically employed interchangeably. “Half-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, when “50 %-personnel” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on 50 %-personnel at the correct occasions.

The flag is flown at 50 %-personnel when the nation is in mourning, such as for the death of govt official or for remembrance, as effectively as from dawn to noon on Memorial Day. When flying the flag at 50 %-personnel, 1st hoist it to the peak for an quick and then decrease to the 50 %-personnel place.

Half-personnel is defined as a single-50 % the distance involving the major and bottom of the flagpole. The flag must be all over again lifted to the peak ahead of it is lowered for the day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

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Only fly a flag at night time if it is illuminated.

Personalized dictates that you must screen flags only from dawn to sunset, but you can preserve the stars and stripes flying 24 several hours a day if it is appropriately illuminated all through the several hours of darkness.

Do not fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast phone calls for inclement weather conditions, you might be not meant to screen the flag — other than if it is really an all-weather conditions flag. Even so, most flags these day are produced of all-weather conditions, non-absorbent supplies like nylon, the American Legion states.

Constantly fly the American flag higher than other flags.

That includes point out and metropolis flags. If they have to be at the identical degree (i.e., you might be hanging them vertically from a dwelling or porch), set the American flag on the remaining. Constantly hoist the American flag 1st and decrease it previous.

Only fly a flag in excellent condition.

No matter how effectively you acquire care of Outdated Glory, at times age just wears down a flag. Newer flags produced with artificial supplies can be device washed in chilly drinking water with a mild detergent, and hung to dry.

Older, more fragile flags must be hand washed employing Woolite or a similar products. Tiny tears can be fixed by hand, so lengthy as the mends usually are not overtly visible when the flag is exhibited. Flags that are extremely worn, torn, or light must be appropriately disposed of.

Dispose of an old flag in a respectful method.

The Federal Flag Code claims that unserviceable flags must be burned in a respectful, ceremonial method, but do so discreetly so men and women will not misinterpret your intentions. If it is unlawful to melt away artificial supplies in your point out or you really feel unpleasant carrying out so, call your nearby American Legion post to uncover out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which typically happen on Flag Day, June fourteen. Local Scout troops are another resource for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag ahead of storing it.

The American flag is ordinarily folded in a distinct arrangement, but we guarantee it is really much easier than folding a equipped sheet. When you have to keep your flag, seize another person to enable you. Get started by holding it parallel to the ground with another person, and fold the decrease stripes lengthwise around the Union, holding the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise all over again, holding the blue Union on the outside.

how to fold an american flag

Betsy Farrell

Now make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open up edge of the flag, and then flip the outer point parallel to the open up edge to make a second triangle. Continue on making triangular folds right until the full flag is folded into a single triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip outfits and objects with flags on them.

Though this segment of the Flag Code is hardly ever observed, the pointers recommend in opposition to employing the flag on outfits, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and short-term-use objects like paper napkins and bins. It does permit flag pins worn around the remaining lapel and flags on military and 1st responder uniforms.

Even so, the Supreme Courtroom dominated in 1984 in the case Texas v. Johnson that the govt are unable to implement flag-protection regulations, so you would not get arrested for putting on an American flag T-shirt. Do whichever feels most respectful and proper to you.

Avoid these frequent flag blunders, far too.

Apart from putting on flag-lined outfits, there are a couple other Flag Code violations that you can effortlessly steer clear of. Most of these concern flag placement — a flag must in no way contact anything beneath it when it is really flying, it must in no way been employed as masking for a ceiling, and you must in no way location anything on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, word, determine, design, picture, or drawing of any mother nature”).

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