10 Tips for Flag Etiquette

Displaying the emblem of our nation is a grand patriotic gesture. Here is the right way to handle Old Glory.

By FamilyTime


Our proud flag looks smart flying against summer's bright blue sky. Who can resist a smile when they see one?

The high-flying flag is the most obvious symbol of America’s national pride and patriotism. Every American may fly a flag -- and many do --  but not everyone knows the correct way to display the red, white, and blue.

When they handle Old Gloriy, the military, law enforcement agencies, and organizations such as the scouts follow strict standards set forth by Congress in 1942. While ordinary Americans may not be as bound by these regulations, everyone wants to be respectful.

Here are 10 tips to make sure you fly the flag correctly, as well as proudly.

1. Hang the flag from a staff that angles from the building. This could be a wall, windowsill, porch railing, or balcony. When the flag is hanging from this staff it should not touch the ground, shrubbery, or floor, nor should it come in contact with any water.

2. Hang the flag from an upright pole. Unless the local, state, or national government decrees that the flag should be hung at half staff, it should be hoisted to the top of the pole. If there are other flags on the pole, the American flag should be on top.

3. If you display the flag with others in a horizontal line, the American flag should be on the right side of a single flag. It should be in the center of and slightly higher than others in a group of flags and pennants.

4. Make sure the union (the blue field with the stars) is at the peak of the flag when it’s hung from a staff or pole.

5. If you hang the flag horizontally or vertically against a wall, which is acceptable, the union should be on the top to your left.

6. If you hang the flag in a window, the union should be on the left when viewed from the street.

7. Fly the flag from sunrise to sunset. More and more folks are leaving the flag in place all night. The official codes says that in times when we desire a "patriotic effect," leaving the flag up around the clock is acceptable. You should light the flag at night.

8. If you fly the flag on your car, clamp it on the right side. Do not drape the flag over any part of the car.

9. If you wear a flag pin, pin it on the left, near your heart.

10. Never wear the flag as clothing. Never use it to carry anything. Never use it as drapery or spreads.

Indeed, ours is a grand old flag, and it’s a tribute to our national solidarity and patriotism that so many Americans want the world to see how proudly it waves.