Laws and Regulations
Proper treatment and handling of
Fold the flag in half width-wise twice. Fold up a triangle, starting at the striped end ... and repeat ... until only the end of the union is exposed. Then fold down the square into a triangle and tuck inside the folds.
|1. When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.|
|2. The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right [that means the viewer's left --Webmaster], and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.|
|3. The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By "half-staff" is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the President of the United States.|
|4. When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the right of the flag of the United States.|
|5. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.|
|6. When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.|
|7. When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.|
|8. When the flag is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes or drapings are desired, bunting of blue, white and red should be used, but never the flag.|
|9. That the flag, when carried in a procession with another flag, or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.|
|10. The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.|
|11. When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.|
|12. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.|
|The Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|The White House, Washington, D.C.|
|U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.|
|Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.|
|Iwo Jima Memorial to U.S. Marines, Arlington, Virginia|
|Battleground in Lexington, MA (site of first shots in the Revolutionary War)|
|Winter encampment cabins, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania|
|Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland (a flag flying over Fort McHenry after a battle during the War of 1812 provided the inspiration for The Star-Spangled Banner|
|The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, Baltimore, Maryland (site where the famed flag over Fort McHenry was sewn)|
|Jenny Wade House in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Jenny Wade was the only civilian killed at the battle of Gettysburg)|
|U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii|
|All custom points and points of entry into the United States|
|New Year's Day, January 1|
|Inauguration Day, January 20|
|Martin Luther KIng Day, third Monday in January|
|Lincoln's Birthday, February 12|
|Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February|
|Patriot's Day, April 17|
|Easter Sunday (variable)|
|Mother's Day, second Sunday in May|
|Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May|
|Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May|
|Flag Day, June 14|
|Independence Day, July 4|
|Labor Day, first Monday in September|
|Unification Day, September 11 (in rememberance of those that died on 9/11)|
|Constitution Day, September 17|
|Columbus Day, second Monday in October|
|Navy Day, October 27|
|Veterans Day, November 11|
|Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November|
|Christmas Day, December 25|
|and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States|
|the birthdays of States (date of admission -- Ohio's is March 1st) and on State holidays.|
During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.
Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation.
No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof; Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.
All content above Copyright ©1996-2001 by the Independence Hall Association, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942.
Additional Information from the American Legion
Demand for American flags is high and
people have a renewed interest in displaying them at home. The United States
Flag Code contains specific instructions on how the flag should and should
not be used. Here are some examples:
Unless illuminated at night, flags displayed outdoors should only be flown from sunrise to sunset.
The flag should not be flown on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is used.
The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way.
When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker.
The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.
The flag should never be displayed upside down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.
The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.
The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.
The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.
The flag, when it is in such
condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be
destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning. Contact your local
American Legion or VFW post for information on flag-burning ceremonies,
which are often held on June 14, which is Flag Day.
SOURCE: The American Legion