Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 each year to honor the United States flag and commemorate its adoption. Many of us show our admiration by displaying the Stars and Stripes in front of our homes and businesses. Recognition of the American flag is a week-long event that typically consists of Flag Day ceremonies, barbecues, and other types of celebrations. As you reflect on the history and freedoms of our great country, remember to show respect through proper flag etiquette.
When to Display the Flag
Display the United States flag daily from sunrise to sunset. In some cases, a flag can be displayed 24 hours a day if it’s properly illuminated at night. While the flag can be displayed on all days, it should especially be flown on certain holidays, such as New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Labor Day, Armed Forces Day, Inauguration Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Veterans Day, and state holidays.
How to Hang the Flag
Hang the U.S. flag on a single staff or lanyard above all other flags. When displayed vertically or horizontally against a wall, the field of stars should appear at the top and to the observer’s left. The U.S. Flag Code states that the flag should be raised proudly and lowered slowly. It should never hit the ground.
When to Take the Flag Down
Flying the flag is not always possible when the weather doesn’t cooperate. The U.S. Flag Code states that the flag should not be displayed in unpleasantly cold or wet weather, with the exception of flying all-weather flags.
How to Display the Flag on Vehicles
On Flag Day, you may see drivers proudly displaying Old Glory on their vehicles. It’s also common for parade vehicles and town floats to fly the American flag. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, be sure to display the flag safely and respectfully. When displaying a flag on a vehicle, mount a single flag on the center of the roof or on the passenger side. Flags can also be adjusted in post holes in the beds of pickup trucks.
How to Display Multiple Flags
When hanging multiple flags, many people make the mistake of lining up all of the flags at the same height. When displayed in a group, the U.S. flag should always be placed to the observer’s left. While flags of all other nations are flown either at the same height or lower, local and state flags should always be flown lower. When displayed with other flags, the U.S. flag should be larger than the other flags or equal to the size of the largest flag.
When to Fly at Half-Staff
Certain days and events require the American flag to be displayed at half-staff or half-mast. For example, on Memorial Day, the U.S. flag should be flown at half-staff until noon and then raised. When flying a flag at half-staff, start by hoisting it to the peak for just a moment before lowering it to the half-staff position. Before it’s lowered for the day, raise it again to the peak.