Let Your Pride in America Fly with Good Flag Etiquette
For more than two centuries, the American flag, or Old Glory, has been known as a symbol of America's pride and unity. We see it proudly displayed in cities and towns throughout America — on flagpoles, homes, businesses, and schools and other public buildings. What might not be as known is the actual public law, the Federal Flag Code, which provides rules for displaying and handling America's most recognizable symbol of freedom.
If you're planning to display a flag in your home or business, heed these important guidelines, which are part of the Code:
- The flag should be illuminated at all times. Either by sunlight or by lighting.
- It should be taken down in extreme weather, unless the flag is designed as an all-weather flag.
- It should be displayed vertically, and hung so that its folds fall free.
- Flags may be displayed throughout the year, but should be flown particularly on important days, such as New Year's Day, Inauguration Day, Martin Luther King's birthday, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran's Day.
- The flag should never be flown upside down, unless to signal an emergency.
- The flag should never be used to store or carry items.
- It should never have any marks or wording placed on it or attached to it. For example, you wouldn't write your family name on the flag displayed on your home.
- It should never touch the ground or any other object.
- It should be clean and repaired if necessary.
- When a flag is beyond repair, it should no longer be displayed, but rather burned in a dignified and respectful way.
- When a number of flags are displayed with it, the American flag should always be at the center and at the highest point of the grouping.
For more information on flag display and care guidelines, visit USA.gov.