Rules of the American Flag

Exhibiting an American flag is a fantastic way to clearly show off your love for our region. On the other hand, your act of patriotism can speedily develop into (unintentionally) disrespectful if you might be unaware of an critical set of principles. The U.S. Flag Code, recognized by Congress in 1942, presents tips for treating this nationwide image 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 important holidays like Flag Working day, Labor Working day, and Veterans Working day.

Take observe: Memorial Working day has its personal flag etiquette. The American flag should be flown at half-mast from dawn right up until midday, then elevated to total mast for the relaxation of the holiday break.

Brush up on the relaxation of your flag etiquette in advance of Memorial Working day weekend by mastering how to fly the Stars and Stripes the ideal way.

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

Will not cling your flag backwards, upside down, or in an additional inappropriate style. If you might be hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or against a wall), the Union portion with the stars should go on the observer’s still left. Under no circumstances dip the flag to any individual or anything at all.

american flag on wooden house by wet road

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Illustrations or photos

Prevent allowing the flag contact the ground.

Reduce your flag from touching the ground, floor, or water. It really is not essential to dispose of your flag if it unintentionally hits the pavement, but you should make guaranteed that it truly is in very good condition in advance of displaying it all over again.

Know the distinction amongst half-employees and half-mast.

There is a distinction amongst half-employees and half-mast, even although they are typically utilised interchangeably. “Fifty percent-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, though “half-employees” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on half-employees at the ideal periods.

The flag is flown at half-employees when the nation is in mourning, this kind of as for the death of authorities formal or for remembrance, as well as from dawn to midday on Memorial Working day. When traveling the flag at half-employees, first hoist it to the peak for an quick and then decrease to the half-employees place.

Fifty percent-employees is defined as 1-half the distance amongst the top rated and base of the flagpole. The flag should be all over again elevated to the peak in advance of it is lowered 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.

Customized dictates that you should screen flags only from dawn to sunset, but you can continue to keep the stars and stripes traveling 24 several hours a day if it is appropriately illuminated in the course of the several hours of darkness.

Will not fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast phone calls for inclement weather, you might be not meant to screen the flag — other than if it truly is an all-weather flag. On the other hand, most flags these day are created of all-weather, non-absorbent products like nylon, the American Legion states.

Always fly the American flag above other flags.

That contains condition and city flags. If they have to be at the exact amount (i.e., you might be hanging them vertically from a dwelling or porch), put the American flag on the still left. Always hoist the American flag first and decrease it past.

Only fly a flag in very good condition.

No issue how well you acquire care of Old Glory, in some cases age just wears down a flag. More recent flags created with synthetic products can be machine washed in chilly water with a moderate detergent, and hung to dry.

More mature, additional fragile flags should be hand washed working with Woolite or a related item. Little tears can be repaired by hand, so extensive as the mends aren’t overtly obvious when the flag is shown. Flags that are overly worn, torn, or faded should be appropriately disposed of.

Dispose of an old flag in a respectful manner.

The Federal Flag Code states that unserviceable flags should be burned in a respectful, ceremonial manner, but do so discreetly so individuals will not misinterpret your intentions. If it is illegal to burn synthetic products in your condition or you truly feel uncomfortable doing so, call your regional American Legion post to discover out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which typically arise on Flag Working day, June 14. Nearby Scout troops are an additional source for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag in advance of storing it.

The American flag is historically folded in a certain arrangement, but we warranty it truly is simpler than folding a equipped sheet. When you have to shop your flag, seize an additional individual to help you. Start out by keeping it parallel to the ground with an additional individual, and fold the decrease stripes lengthwise above the Union, holding the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise all over again, holding 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 change the outer stage parallel to the open edge to make a 2nd triangle. Continue producing triangular folds right up until the entire flag is folded into 1 triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip clothes and objects with flags on them.

Though this section of the Flag Code is rarely observed, the tips suggest against working with the flag on clothes, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and short-term-use objects like paper napkins and boxes. It does permit flag pins worn above the still left lapel and flags on armed forces and first responder uniforms.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court dominated in 1984 in the scenario Texas v. Johnson that the authorities won’t be able to implement flag-safety regulations, so you would not get arrested for sporting an American flag T-shirt. Do regardless of what feels most respectful and ideal to you.

Prevent these popular flag issues, also.

Other than sporting flag-lined clothes, there are a pair other Flag Code violations that you can very easily stay away from. Most of these issue flag placement — a flag should hardly ever contact anything at all beneath it though it truly is traveling, it should hardly ever been utilised as masking for a ceiling, and you should hardly ever location anything at all on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, phrase, determine, style and design, picture, or drawing of any character”).

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