October 24, 2021


Anything but ordinary

Rules of the American Flag

Displaying an American flag is a good way to show off your enjoy for our nation. Even so, your act of patriotism can speedily come to be (unintentionally) disrespectful if you’re unaware of an vital set of guidelines. The U.S. Flag Code, established by Congress in 1942, provides pointers for treating this nationwide image with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all days, but the Flag Code particularly recommends exhibiting it on Independence Day, as properly as other significant holiday seasons like Flag Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.

Choose take note: Memorial Day has its own flag etiquette. The American flag need to be flown at 50 %-mast from sunrise until noon, then elevated to total mast for the rest of the getaway.

Brush up on the rest of your flag etiquette ahead of Memorial Day weekend by mastering how to fly the Stars and Stripes the ideal way.

There is a ideal and a mistaken way to hang the flag vertically.

Never hang your flag backwards, upside down, or in one more inappropriate manner. If you’re hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or against a wall), the Union portion with the stars need to go on the observer’s left. Never dip the flag to any man or woman or just about anything.

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Illustrations or photos

Avoid permitting the flag contact the floor.

Reduce your flag from touching the floor, flooring, or drinking water. It really is not important to dispose of your flag if it accidentally hits the pavement, but you need to make confident that it can be in superior condition ahead of exhibiting it all over again.

Know the change in between 50 %-staff and 50 %-mast.

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

Fly your flag on 50 %-staff at the ideal moments.

The flag is flown at 50 %-staff when the country is in mourning, these as for the death of governing administration formal or for remembrance, as properly as from sunrise to noon on Memorial Day. When flying the flag at 50 %-staff, very first hoist it to the peak for an fast and then lower to the 50 %-staff posture.

Fifty percent-staff is defined as a single-50 % the length in between the top rated and base of the flagpole. The flag need to be all over again elevated to the peak ahead of it is reduced for the day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

liveslowGetty Illustrations or photos

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

Custom dictates that you need to display screen flags only from sunrise to sunset, but you can maintain the stars and stripes flying 24 hrs a day if it is appropriately illuminated during the hrs of darkness.

Never fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast phone calls for inclement weather conditions, you’re not intended to display screen the flag — other than if it can be an all-weather conditions flag. Even so, most flags these day are made of all-weather conditions, non-absorbent materials like nylon, the American Legion states.

Always fly the American flag earlier mentioned other flags.

That includes point out and city flags. If they have to be at the identical level (i.e., you’re hanging them vertically from a dwelling or porch), put the American flag on the left. Always hoist the American flag very first and lower it past.

Only fly a flag in superior condition.

No make any difference how properly you choose treatment of Previous Glory, from time to time age just wears down a flag. Newer flags made with synthetic materials can be machine washed in chilly drinking water with a delicate detergent, and hung to dry.

Older, additional fragile flags need to be hand washed working with Woolite or a similar product. Modest tears can be repaired by hand, so lengthy as the mends are not overtly visible when the flag is shown. Flags that are extremely worn, torn, or light need to be appropriately disposed of.

Dispose of an aged flag in a respectful method.

The Federal Flag Code suggests that unserviceable flags need to be burned in a respectful, ceremonial method, but do so discreetly so individuals do not misinterpret your intentions. If it is unlawful to melt away synthetic materials in your point out or you feel unpleasant accomplishing so, get in touch with your regional American Legion write-up to come across out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which normally manifest on Flag Day, June fourteen. Community Scout troops are one more resource for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag ahead of storing it.

The American flag is customarily folded in a specific arrangement, but we warranty it can be much easier than folding a equipped sheet. When you have to keep your flag, get one more man or woman to assist you. Begin by holding it parallel to the floor with one more man or woman, and fold the lower stripes lengthwise over the Union, preserving the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise all over again, preserving the blue Union on the exterior.

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 transform the outer issue parallel to the open edge to make a second triangle. Keep on producing triangular folds until the whole flag is folded into a single triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip clothes and objects with flags on them.

Whilst this portion of the Flag Code is rarely observed, the pointers suggest against working with the flag on clothes, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and non permanent-use things like paper napkins and bins. It does permit flag pins worn over the left lapel and flags on armed service and very first responder uniforms.

Even so, the Supreme Courtroom dominated in 1984 in the scenario Texas v. Johnson that the governing administration cannot enforce flag-safety laws, so you would not get arrested for carrying an American flag T-shirt. Do no matter what feels most respectful and ideal to you.

Avoid these widespread flag blunders, much too.

Aside from carrying flag-lined clothes, there are a couple other Flag Code violations that you can easily keep away from. Most of these issue flag placement — a flag need to never contact just about anything beneath it whilst it can be flying, it need to never been utilised as covering for a ceiling, and you need to never area just about anything on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, term, figure, style, photograph, or drawing of any character”).

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