Our Flag - Things You Should Know

Here are some of the rules for proper display and use of the U. S. flag, as established by generally accepted custom and by Public Law 94-344 approved by Congress and signed by the President in 1976.  The Flag Code does not impose penalties for the misuse of the flag.  Such penalties are determined by the individual states and the District of Columbia.

When to Fly the US Flag
Bunting Behind a Speaker Over a Street From a Building
On a Wall On a Staff National Flags In a Parade
Showing Respect Memorial Day On a Casket Caring for a Flag
How to Fold the U. S. Flag

When to Fly the US Flag:  The U. S. flag can be flow everyday of the year.  If it is flown for 24 hours, it should be illuminated so the flag is not in complete darkness.  The flag should especially be flown on the following days:

  • New Year's Day - January 1

  • Inauguration Day - January 20

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday - 3rd Monday in January

  • Lincoln's Birthday - February 12

  • Washington's Birthday - Third Monday in February

  • Easter Sunday - Varies Yearly

  • Mother's Day - Second Monday in May

  • Armed Forces Day - Third Saturday in May

  • Memorial Day - Last Monday in May (Half staff until 12 Noon)

  • Flag Day - June 14

  • Independence Day - July 4

  • Labor Day - First Monday in September

  • Constitution Day - September 17

  • Columbus Day - Second Monday in October

  • Navy Day - October 27

  • Veterans Day - November 11

  • Thanksgiving Day - Fourth Thursday in November

  • Christmas Day - December 25

  • And any other days proclaimed by the President, i.e., birthdays of states (date of admission) and state holidays.

The flag is half-staffed (sunrise to sunset) on the following days:

  • Peace Officers Memorial Day - May 15

  • National Korean War Armistice Day - July 27

  • Patriot Day - September 11

  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day - December 7

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Bunting:  The U. S. flag should never be used as drapery, never festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds.  It should always be allowed to fall free.  Bunting should be used for decoration:  First blue, then white, then red.

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Behind a Speaker:  \When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be above and behind the speaker.  Use bunting to decorate a speaker's desk or the front of the platform.

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Over a Street:   When the U. S. flag is displayed other than from a staff, it should be displayed flat, or suspended so its folds fall free.  When displayed over a street, place the union so it faces north or east, depending on the direction of the street.

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From a Building:  When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a windowsill, balcony or building front, the union of the flag should always be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is half-staff.

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On a Wall:  When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left.  In a window, the union should be to the flag's right when viewed from outside.

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On a Staff:  When the U. S. flag is flown with flags or pennants of states, cities or societies, it should always be at the peak.  When flown from adjacent staffs, the U. S. flag should be hoisted first and lowered last.

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National Flags:  When flags of two or more nations are displayed together, they should be flown from separate staffs of the same height, and the flags should be of approximately equal size.

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In a Parade:  When carried in a parade front with other flags, the U. S. flag should always be to the marching right of other flags, or to the front and center of the flag line.

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Showing Respect:   When the flag is raised, lowered or is passing in a parade or review, everyone present, except military personnel, should face teh flag and place his or her hand over their heart.  Men should remove their hats.  Military personnel salute.

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Memorial Day:  The flag should be briskly raised in the morning to the top, then lowered slowly to half-staff.  At noon, the flag should be raised to the top again.

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On a Casket:  When the flag is used on a casket, its union should be the deceased's left shoulder.  Carry the casket foot first.  The flag should be not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

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Caring for the Flag:
  • If soiled, teh flag may be washed or dry cleaned.
  • When torn or frayed but not faded, the flag may be mended.
  • A worn or faded flag should be retired with respect.  Fold the flag and place it on a fire.  The ashes should then be buried.
  • Some VFW Posts and other community groups collect worn flags, and conduct a retirement ceremony.  Check in your community for who conducts the ceremony.

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How to Fold the U. S. Flag:
  • Begin by holding the flag waist high with another person so its surface is parallel to the ground.
  • Fold lengthwise.  Bring the striped half up over the blue field.
  • Fold lengthwise, again bringing the blue field back on the top of the stripes.
  • fold the lower right hand corner to the upper edge to form a triangle.
  • Now fold the triangle towards the blue field.
  • Keep folding until you have the triangle with only the blue field showing.  There should be 12 folds in all if you did it right.  It should end up in a triangle shape like the revolutionaries' hats.

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Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Continue folding until ....

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07/16/15 07:12 PM


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