June 14, 2024

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Rules of the American Flag

6 min read

Displaying an American flag is a terrific way to exhibit off your really like for our nation. Having said that, your act of patriotism can swiftly become (unintentionally) disrespectful if you happen to be unaware of an critical set of principles. The U.S. Flag Code, proven by Congress in 1942, delivers recommendations for treating this nationwide symbol with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all days, but the Flag Code specially endorses displaying it on Independence Working day, as well as other major holidays like Flag Working day, Labor Working day, and Veterans Working day.

Consider observe: Memorial Working day has its own flag etiquette. The American flag should be flown at fifty percent-mast from dawn right until noon, then raised to entire mast for the rest of the vacation.

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

There is certainly a correct and a erroneous way to dangle the flag vertically.

Do not dangle your flag backwards, upside down, or in a different inappropriate vogue. If you happen to be hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or from a wall), the Union portion with the stars should go on the observer’s remaining. In no way dip the flag to any human being or everything.

american flag on wooden house by wet road

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Visuals

Prevent permitting the flag touch the ground.

Protect against your flag from touching the ground, ground, or drinking water. It truly is not important to dispose of your flag if it unintentionally hits the pavement, but you should make guaranteed that it is in good issue before displaying it again.

Know the difference between fifty percent-staff members and fifty percent-mast.

There is a difference between fifty percent-staff members and fifty percent-mast, even while they are normally utilised interchangeably. “50 %-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, though “fifty percent-staff members” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on fifty percent-staff members at the correct moments.

The flag is flown at fifty percent-staff members when the country is in mourning, such as for the dying of governing administration official or for remembrance, as well as from dawn to noon on Memorial Working day. When traveling the flag at fifty percent-staff members, initial hoist it to the peak for an immediate and then decreased to the fifty percent-staff members placement.

50 %-staff members is defined as just one-fifty percent the length between the major and bottom of the flagpole. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is reduced for the working day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

liveslowGetty Visuals

Only fly a flag at night time if it is illuminated.

Custom made dictates that you should display screen flags only from dawn to sunset, but you can maintain the stars and stripes traveling 24 hours a working day if it is properly illuminated through the hours of darkness.

Do not fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast phone calls for inclement weather conditions, you happen to be not intended to display screen the flag — except if it is an all-weather conditions flag. Having said that, most flags these working day are designed of all-weather conditions, non-absorbent products like nylon, the American Legion states.

Always fly the American flag earlier mentioned other flags.

That features point out and town flags. If they have to be at the same stage (i.e., you happen to be hanging them vertically from a dwelling or porch), place the American flag on the remaining. Always hoist the American flag initial and decreased it very last.

Only fly a flag in good issue.

No matter how well you choose treatment of Aged Glory, at times age just wears down a flag. More recent flags designed with artificial products can be device washed in cold drinking water with a mild detergent, and hung to dry.

More mature, additional fragile flags should be hand washed employing Woolite or a similar product or service. Compact tears can be fixed by hand, so lengthy as the mends are not overtly obvious when the flag is exhibited. Flags that are overly worn, torn, or pale should be properly disposed of.

Dispose of an outdated flag in a respectful fashion.

The Federal Flag Code suggests that unserviceable flags should be burned in a respectful, ceremonial fashion, but do so discreetly so persons don’t misinterpret your intentions. If it is illegal to burn off artificial products in your point out or you experience uncomfortable undertaking so, get hold of your regional American Legion write-up to locate out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which normally come about on Flag Working day, June fourteen. Neighborhood Scout troops are a different source for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag before storing it.

The American flag is traditionally folded in a specific arrangement, but we assurance it is a lot easier than folding a equipped sheet. When you have to store your flag, seize a different human being to assist you. Commence by holding it parallel to the ground with a different human being, and fold the decreased stripes lengthwise in excess of the Union, trying to keep the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise again, trying to keep the blue Union on the outdoors.

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 edge of the flag, and then turn the outer level parallel to the open edge to make a 2nd triangle. Keep on earning triangular folds right until the total flag is folded into just one triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip garments and objects with flags on them.

Although this area of the Flag Code is almost never observed, the recommendations recommend from employing the flag on garments, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and short term-use objects like paper napkins and boxes. It does allow flag pins worn in excess of the remaining lapel and flags on armed service and initial responder uniforms.

Having said that, the Supreme Courtroom ruled in 1984 in the situation Texas v. Johnson that the governing administration can’t implement flag-protection regulations, so you will not get arrested for donning an American flag T-shirt. Do whichever feels most respectful and correct to you.

Prevent these common flag errors, much too.

Other than donning flag-coated garments, there are a pair other Flag Code violations that you can easily prevent. Most of these issue flag placement — a flag should never touch everything beneath it though it is traveling, it should never been utilised as masking for a ceiling, and you should never area everything on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, word, determine, design and style, photo, or drawing of any nature”).

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