United States Flag Etiquette
When To Fly The Flag
Our national flag should be displayed on all days that there is no danger the weather will
damage it.  It not only shows respect for our national symbol, but prolongs the life of the
flag.  It is customary to fly the flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings or on a stationary
flag pole in the open.  However, it may also be flown at night if it is properly illuminated.

I was reminded, recently, that it's perfectly legal and proper to fly any former American flag,
with any number of stars. I thought I would make a note here for those of question.

Flag Flying Holidays




New Year's Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Inauguration Day

Lincoln's Birthday
Presidents' Day
Washington's Birthday

Easter Sunday
Army Day
V-E Day

Mother's Day
Peace Officers Memorial Day  * (Half-staff)
Armed Forces Day

Memorial Day  * (Half-staff until noon)
Flag Day
Father's Day

Independence Day
National Korean War Armistice Day  * (Half-staff)
Labor Day

V-J Day
Patriot Day  * (Half-staff)
Constitution Day (Citizenship Day)

Columbus Day
Navy Day
Presidential Election Day

Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day  * (Half-staff)

Christmas Day
January 1
Third Monday in January
January 20 (Every 4 Years) [2013]

February 12
Third Monday in February
February 22

April 6
May 8

Second Sunday in May
May 15
Third Sunday in May

Last Monday in May
June 14
Third Sunday in June

July 4
July 27
First Monday in September

September 2
September 11
September 17

Second Monday in October
October 27
1st Tues after 1st Mon in Nov

November 11
Fourth Thursday in November
December 7

December 25
*  Half-Staff

When flown at half-staff, the flag should be hoisted to the peak, then lowered to half-staff;
but before lowering the flag for the day it should again be raised to the peak.
  • On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only,
    then raised to the top of the staff

        On the following days, the flag should be flown at half-staff for the entire day:

  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
  • Peace Officers Memorial Day
  • National Korean War Armistice Day
  • Patriot Day
By order of the President; the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures
of the United States government and the Governor of a state, territory, or possession; as a mark
of respect to their memory.
Displaying Other Than On a Staff

1. When displayed over the middle of a street, the flag should be suspended vertically with the
union to the north in an east-west street or to the east in a north-south street.

2. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a building to a pole
at the edge of the sidewalk, the union should be toward the pole as if it were hoisted from the
building toward the pole.

3. When the flag is displayed flat against a wall, either horizontally or vertically, the union should
be uppermost and to the flag's own right; to the observer's left.  When displayed in a window, it
should be displayed the same, as for the observer in the street.

4. 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

Crossed Staffs
When displayed with another flag from crossed staffs, the US flag should be to the observer's
left and its staff should be infront of the staff of the other flag.
Flown Together

When the flags of states or cities or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with
the US flag, the US flag should always be at the peak. International flag usage forbids the
display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in peace time.  This is a
sign of wartime victory and a serious insult.
Projecting Staff
When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at any angle from the window
sill, balcony, or front of a building; the union should go to the peak of the staff (unless displaying
at half-mast).
When carried in a procession or parade with another flag or flags, the US flag should be either
on the marching right, or when there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
When a number of flags of states or cities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed
from staffs with the US flag, it should be at the center or at the highest point of the group.
With Other Nations

When the flags of two or more nations are displayed they should be flown from separate staffs
of the same height and the flags should be of approximately equal size.  International flag usage
forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in peace time.
This is a sign of wartime victory and a serious insult.
Worn on the Right Uniform Sleeve

As stated above, it is proper to display the flag with the union uppermost and to the observer's
left.  One exception is when worn on the right sleeve of the military uniform.  The union must be
displayed uppermost and facing the direction of honor and on the side of the uniform, the
direction of honor is toward the front.
Over a Casket

When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be placed so 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.
The Folds of the Flag
Honor Guard

Flag Presentation
Why we fold the flag 13 times...

Have you ever noticed how the Honor Guard pays meticulous attention to
correctly folding the American flag 13 times? Here's what each of those
13 folds mean:

The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol for Life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in Eternal Life.

The 3rd fold is made in Honor and Remembrance of the Veterans
departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense
of our Country and to attain Peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents our Weaker Nature, for as American citizens
trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in
time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to Our Country, for in the words of Stephen
Decatur, "Our country; in dealing with other countries, may she
always be right, but it is still our country right or wrong."

The 6th fold is for where Our Hearts lie. It is with our heart that
"We 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".

The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the
Armed Forces that we protect our Country and our flag against all her
enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our

The 8th fold is a tribute to the One who entered into the Valley of the
Shadow of Death, that we might see the Light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to Womanhood and Mothers. For it has been
through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character
of the men and women who have made this Country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the Father, for he, too, has given his
sons and daughters for defense of our Country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the Seal of King David
and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews' eyes, the God of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of Eternity and glorifies, in the
Christians' eyes, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the Stars are
uppermost reminding us of our Nation's motto, "In God We Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the
appearance of a cocked hat, reminding us of the Soldiers who served
under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served
under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and
shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us
the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.

Copyright Date on Graphic (c) RWD PLOESSL

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