When it comes to handling the American flag, there’s a specific code of conduct that’s defined by the U.S. Flag Code. This set of rules ensures everyone is following the same practices for respectfully using and hanging the flag. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business leader, this guide will help you properly fly the flag on your property.
What is the US Flag Code?
The flag is considered to be a living symbol of our country. The U.S. Flag Code outlines general rules that should always be followed when caring for the American flag. This includes ensuring the flag is raised quickly and without delay and is lowered slowly, with purpose. It is never permitted to touch the ground, and most should not be flown in stormy weather. However, “all-weather” flags that are designed to withstand harsh outdoor elements are an exception.
Traditionally, the flag was lowered at dusk and raised at sunrise, but this has changed over the years. If it can be illuminated at night, the flag can be left to fly 24 hours a day. It’s considered disrespectful to use the flag as clothing, or to transport other items. The flag should never be flown upside-down unless it’s signaling an emergency.
How Do You Properly Display the American Flag?
Inside the flag’s code, there’s also a set of rules guiding how the flag should be displayed.
- When hanging the flag, the blue field, or Union section, should always be on the left. This applies even when hanging the flag vertically, such as on the side of a building.
- When the flag is suspended on a pole, the Union section, or field, should be at the peak. Whether hanging by staff or hanging flat, the flag should be left to fall naturally.
- When carrying the American flag in a procession or parade, or when displayed with other flags, it should always be to it’s own right of the other flags, or to the observer’s left. If it’s being flown higher than the other flags, it can be positioned in the center of the lineup.
- The direction in which the flag is hung is important when hanging it over a street. On streets running east and west, it should be hung vertically with the Union section facing north. On those running north and south, the Union square should be facing the east.
- For funerals, the flag should be draped over the casket with the Union section at the head. The blue field should be covering the left shoulder.
For more detailed flag etiquette, visit www.htflag.com.
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