Rules of the American Flag

Exhibiting an American flag is a good way to clearly show off your love for our country. Even so, your act of patriotism can speedily turn out to be (unintentionally) disrespectful if you’re unaware of an critical established of principles. The U.S. Flag Code, proven by Congress in 1942, gives guidelines for managing this nationwide image with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all days, but the Flag Code specifically suggests exhibiting it on Independence Working day, as perfectly as other major holidays like Flag Working day, Labor Working day, and Veterans Working day.

Consider note: Memorial Working day has its individual flag etiquette. The American flag should be flown at half-mast from dawn until midday, then raised to whole mast for the rest of the vacation.

Brush up on the rest of your flag etiquette ahead of Memorial Working day weekend by studying how to fly the Stars and Stripes the correct way.

There is a correct and a completely wrong way to cling the flag vertically.

Will not cling your flag backwards, upside down, or in yet another inappropriate manner. If you’re hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or in opposition to a wall), the Union portion with the stars should go on the observer’s still left. Never dip the flag to any man or woman or anything.

american flag on wooden house by wet road

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Images

Stay away from letting the flag contact the ground.

Stop your flag from touching the ground, floor, or water. It is not important to dispose of your flag if it unintentionally hits the pavement, but you should make absolutely sure that it really is in great issue just before exhibiting it once more.

Know the big difference among half-employees and half-mast.

There is a big difference among half-employees and half-mast, even although they’re usually utilised interchangeably. “Half-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, when “half-employees” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on half-employees at the correct situations.

The flag is flown at half-employees when the nation is in mourning, these kinds of as for the dying of governing administration official or for remembrance, as perfectly as from dawn to midday on Memorial Working day. When traveling the flag at half-employees, to start with hoist it to the peak for an immediate and then decreased to the half-employees place.

Half-employees is outlined as a person-half the distance among the prime and bottom of the flagpole. The flag should be once more raised to the peak just before it is lowered for the day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

liveslowGetty Images

Only fly a flag at evening if it is illuminated.

Custom made dictates that you should display flags only from dawn to sunset, but you can retain the stars and stripes traveling 24 hours a day if it is effectively illuminated in the course of the hours of darkness.

Will not fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast calls for inclement temperature, you’re not intended to display the flag — apart from if it really is an all-temperature flag. Even so, most flags these day are manufactured of all-temperature, non-absorbent resources like nylon, the American Legion states.

Generally fly the American flag higher than other flags.

That contains state and town flags. If they have to be at the similar level (i.e., you’re hanging them vertically from a dwelling or porch), set the American flag on the still left. Generally hoist the American flag to start with and decreased it last.

Only fly a flag in great issue.

No make a difference how perfectly you choose treatment of Aged Glory, often age just wears down a flag. More recent flags manufactured with synthetic resources can be equipment washed in cold water with a delicate detergent, and hung to dry.

More mature, a lot more fragile flags should be hand washed working with Woolite or a related product or service. Little tears can be repaired by hand, so extensive as the mends usually are not overtly noticeable when the flag is exhibited. Flags that are overly worn, torn, or light should be effectively disposed of.

Dispose of an aged flag in a respectful way.

The Federal Flag Code claims that unserviceable flags should be burned in a respectful, ceremonial way, but do so discreetly so individuals don’t misinterpret your intentions. If it is illegal to burn off synthetic resources in your state or you come to feel unpleasant doing so, contact your area American Legion submit to come across out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which usually occur on Flag Working day, June fourteen. Neighborhood Scout troops are yet another useful resource for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag just before storing it.

The American flag is ordinarily folded in a unique arrangement, but we promise it really is less complicated than folding a fitted sheet. When you have to shop your flag, get yet another man or woman to help you. Get started by keeping it parallel to the ground with yet another man or woman, and fold the decreased stripes lengthwise about the Union, preserving the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise once more, preserving the blue Union on the outside.

how to fold an american flag

Betsy Farrell

Now make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open up edge of the flag, and then change the outer position parallel to the open up edge to make a next triangle. Keep on creating triangular folds until the full flag is folded into a person triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip clothing and objects with flags on them.

Although this segment of the Flag Code is not often noticed, the guidelines advise in opposition to working with the flag on clothing, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and short-term-use things like paper napkins and packing containers. It does permit flag pins worn about the still left lapel and flags on navy and to start with responder uniforms.

Even so, the Supreme Courtroom ruled in 1984 in the circumstance Texas v. Johnson that the governing administration won’t be able to enforce flag-defense rules, so you will not likely get arrested for sporting an American flag T-shirt. Do whatever feels most respectful and proper to you.

Stay away from these common flag issues, also.

Moreover sporting flag-lined clothing, there are a few other Flag Code violations that you can conveniently prevent. Most of these problem flag placement — a flag should in no way contact anything beneath it when it really is traveling, it should in no way been utilised as masking for a ceiling, and you should in no way position anything on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, word, determine, style and design, picture, or drawing of any mother nature”).

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