WHEN TO DISPLAY THE FLAG
The flag should be displayed on all days when weather
permits, especially on legal holidays or other special
occasions. It is customary to display the flag from sunrise
to sunset on buildings or on stationary flagstaffs
in the open. However, on special occasions it may be
displayed at night, preferably lighted. In several places
the flag flies day and night; among these are the Capitol
in Washington, D.C., and the Fort Henry National
Monument in Baltimore, which was the inspiration for
“The Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.
The flag should be displayed…
• on or near the main administration building of every
• in or near polling places on election days
• in or near schools when they are in session
A citizen may fly the flag on any day he wishes.
HOW TO FLY THE FLAG
The flag should be raised and lowered by hand. Never,
raise the flag while it is furled; unfurl, then hoist quickly
to the peak of the flagstaff. It should be lowered slowly
and ceremoniously. The flag should never be allowed
to touch anything beneath it, such as the ground or
The flying of the flag at half-staff, is a sign of mourning.
When flown at half-staff, the flag should be first hoisted
to the peak, then immediately lowered to the half-staff
position. It should be raised to the peak again for a
moment before it is lowered for the day. “Half-staff” is
the point midway between the top and bottom of the
flagstaff. On Memorial Day in May, the flag should fly at
half-staff from sunrise until noon, and at full-staff from
noon until sunset.
At sea services by Navy chaplains, the church pennant
may be flown above the flag.
No other flag may be flown above The United States
flag except at the United Nations Headquarters. The
UN flag may be placed above flags of all member nations.
In the UN enclave, national flags of all members
are flown with equal prominence.
When the 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. International usage forbids the display of
the flag of one nation above that of another in time of
HOW TO DISPLAY THE FLAG
When carried in procession with another flag or flags,
the Stars and Stripes should be at the right-front of the
column, or when there is a line of other flags, in front of
the center of that line. The flag should never be carried
flat or horizontally, but always aloft and floating free.
When a number of flags are grouped and displayed
from staffs, the flag of the United States should be in
the center or at the highest point of the group. When
displayed with another flag from crossed staffs, the flag
of the United States should be on the right (the flag’s
own right), and its staff should be in front of the staff of
the other flag.
If the flag is displayed from a staff projected from a
window sill, balcony or front of a building, the union of
the flag should go to the peak of the staff (unless the
flag is to be displayed at half-staff).
When the flag is displayed in any manner other than
being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat,
whether indoors or out. If 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. When displayed in a window it should
be suspended in the same way-that is, with the union
to the left of the observer in the street.
When displayed over the middle of the street, the Stars
and Stripes should be suspended vertical with the
union to the north on an east-west street and to the
east on a north-south street.
When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a
rope extending from house to pole at the edge of the
sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out from the building
toward the pole union first.
When used on a speaker’s platform the flag may be
displayed flat, above and behind the speaker. If flown
from a staff it should be on the speaker’s right; all other
flags on the platform should be on his left.
When it is displayed on the pulpit or chancel in a
church, the flag should be flown from a staff placed
on the clergyman’s right as he faces the congregation.
All other flags on the pulpit or chancel should be on
However, when the flag is displayed on the floor of a
church or auditorium, on a level with the audience, it is
placed to the right of the audience.
When flags of states or cities, or pennants of societies,
are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the
United States, the latter should always be at the peak.
When flown from adjacent staffs, the Stars and Stripes
should be raised first and lowered last.
When used to cover a casket, the flag should be
placed so that the union is at the head and over the left
shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave
or allowed to touch the ground. The casket should be
carried foot-first from the hearse to the grave.
SALUTING THE FLAG
In saluting the flag those present in uniform should
render the military salute. When not in uniform, men
should remove the hat with the right hand and hold
it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.
Women, and men without hats, should place the right
hand over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention.
All persons present should face the flag, stand at attention
and salute on the following occasions:
1. When the flag is passing in a parade or review. The
salute to the flag in the moving column is rendered at
the moment the flag passes.
2. During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag.
3. When the National Anthem is played and the flag
4. During the Pledge of Allegiance…I pledge allegiance
to the flag of the United States of America and
to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under
God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
When the National Anthem is played and the flag is
not displayed, all present should stand and face toward
the music. Those in uniform should salute at the first
note of the anthem, retaining this position until the last
note. All others should stand at attention, men removing
their hats. When the flag is displayed, all present
should face the flag and salute.
HOW TO DISPOSE OF WORN FLAGS
Every precaution should be taken to prevent the flag
from becoming soiled. When a flag is in such a condition,
through wear or damage, that is no longer a fitting
emblem for display, it should be destroyed privately in
a dignified manner.
The flag should NEVER
1. Be tilted (dipped) even momentarily to any person
or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, organization
or institutional flags may be tilted as the mark of honor.
2. Be displayed with the union down except as a signal
3. Be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and
4. Be displayed on a float, motor car or boat except
from a staff.
5. Be allowed to touch the ground or floor, or brush
6. Have objects placed on, over it, or be used as a
covering for a ceiling.
7. Have any mark, insignia, letter, work, figure, picture
or drawing of any nature placed upon or attached to it.
8. Be used as a receptacle for carrying anything, or be
used to cover a statue or monument. If used in connection
with unveiling ceremonies, it should not serve as a
covering of the object being unveiled.
9. Be used for advertising purposes or have advertising
signs fastened to its staff or halyard.
10. Be embroidered on such articles as handkerchiefs
or cushions, or be printed or otherwise impressed on
11. Be used as a costume or athletic uniform or part
12. Be used as drapery of any sort whatsoever, never
festooned, drawn back or up in folds, but always allowed
to fall free. Bunting of blue, white and red-always
arranged with the blue above, white in the middle, and
red below-should be used for such purposes of decoration
as covering a speaker’s desk or draping the front
of a platform.
When should a flag be flown at half-staff?
The flying of the flag at half-staff, is a sign of mourning.
When flown at half-staff, the flag should be first hoisted to the peak,
then immediately lowered to the half-staff position.
It should be raised to the peak again for a moment before it is
lowered for the day. "Half-staff" is the point midway between
top and bottom of the flagstaff. By order of the President,
the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal
figures of the United States, Government and the Governor of
a State, territory or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory.
In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries,
the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential
instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs
or practices not inconsistent with law.
In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government
of any State, territory or possession of the United States,
the Governor of that State, territory or possession of the
United States, the Governor of that State, territory or possession
may proclaim that the National flag may be flown at half-staff.
Below are holidays the American flag should be flown at half-staff.
Peace Officers Memorial Day: (2nd Monday in May)
All US flags are to be displayed at half-staff.
Memorial Day: (Last Monday in May) The flag should fly at half-staff
from sunrise until noon, and at full-staff from noon until sunset.
Korean War Armistice Day: (June 27th) All US flags are to be displayed at half-staff.
Patriot Day: (Sept 11th) All US flags are to be displayed at half-staff.
Pearl Harbor Day: (Dec 7th) All US flags are to be displayed at half-staff.