How to Properly Display Your American Flag

Suzanne Oliver
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Hanging an American flag

On Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and other special occasions that honor our veterans, many Americans proudly unfold our country’s flag and let it fly.

The flag is considered a living thing and should be treated with respect. In case you were wondering how to properly display your patriotism, see the tips below, which are provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Senate.

The flag:

  • Should be flown from sunrise to sunset, unless it’s illuminated during dark.
  • Should not be subject to inclement weather — rain, snow and windstorms — unless it’s an all-weather flag.
  • Should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
  • When carried in procession with other flags, it should be either on the flag’s right or to the front and center of the flag line.
  • Should not be draped over a vehicle in a parade.
  • In a group of flags displayed from staffs, it should always be at the center and at the highest point.
  • When displayed from a staff projecting from a building, the union should be at the peak.
  • When flags of states, cities or organizations are flown on the same staff, it must be at the top.
  • When displayed against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the observer’s left.
  • Should never be used as a covering for a statue or a monument.
  • Should never be displayed with the union down.
  • Should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, floor or water.
  • Should never be used as apparel, bedding or drapery.
  • When it is no longer a fitting emblem for display (worn or soiled), it should be destroyed, preferably by burning.

 Image: Marilyn Volan/

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