December 5, 2022

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Rules of the American Flag

Exhibiting an American flag is a excellent way to demonstrate off your enjoy for our region. Having said that, your act of patriotism can quickly become (unintentionally) disrespectful if you happen to be unaware of an essential established of procedures. The U.S. Flag Code, established by Congress in 1942, provides rules for dealing with this countrywide symbol with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all days, but the Flag Code primarily recommends exhibiting it on Independence Day, as perfectly as other major vacations like Flag Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.

Consider notice: Memorial Day has its individual flag etiquette. The American flag should really be flown at fifty percent-mast from dawn right until noon, then lifted to entire mast for the relaxation of the holiday getaway.

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

You will find a ideal and a erroneous way to hold the flag vertically.

Do not hold your flag backwards, upside down, or in another inappropriate manner. If you happen to be hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or against a wall), the Union part with the stars should really go on the observer’s still left. Never ever dip the flag to any individual or anything.

american flag on wooden house by wet road

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Photos

Steer clear of allowing the flag contact the ground.

Stop your flag from touching the ground, floor, or drinking water. It is really not necessary to dispose of your flag if it accidentally hits the pavement, but you should really make certain that it truly is in very good ailment ahead of exhibiting it yet again.

Know the variation between fifty percent-workers and fifty percent-mast.

There is a variation between fifty percent-workers and fifty percent-mast, even even though they’re frequently utilized interchangeably. “Fifty percent-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, although “fifty percent-workers” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on fifty percent-workers at the ideal moments.

The flag is flown at fifty percent-workers when the nation is in mourning, this kind of as for the loss of life of governing administration official or for remembrance, as perfectly as from dawn to noon on Memorial Day. When flying the flag at fifty percent-workers, very first hoist it to the peak for an prompt and then lessen to the fifty percent-workers situation.

Fifty percent-workers is described as 1-fifty percent the distance between the best and bottom of the flagpole. The flag should really be yet again lifted to the peak ahead of it is lowered for the day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

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Only fly a flag at night if it is illuminated.

Custom dictates that you should really screen flags only from dawn to sunset, but you can keep the stars and stripes flying 24 hrs a day if it is thoroughly illuminated in the course of the hrs of darkness.

Do not fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast calls for inclement temperature, you happen to be not meant to screen the flag — apart from if it truly is an all-temperature flag. Having said that, most flags these day are created of all-temperature, non-absorbent components like nylon, the American Legion states.

Normally fly the American flag previously mentioned other flags.

That includes point out and city flags. If they have to be at the exact same degree (i.e., you happen to be hanging them vertically from a dwelling or porch), place the American flag on the still left. Normally hoist the American flag very first and lessen it last.

Only fly a flag in very good ailment.

No subject how perfectly you consider care of Outdated Glory, often age just wears down a flag. More recent flags created with artificial components can be machine washed in cold drinking water with a moderate detergent, and hung to dry.

Older, far more fragile flags should really be hand washed applying Woolite or a very similar solution. Small tears can be fixed by hand, so extended as the mends aren’t overtly noticeable when the flag is exhibited. Flags that are overly worn, torn, or light should really be thoroughly disposed of.

Dispose of an previous flag in a respectful manner.

The Federal Flag Code suggests that unserviceable flags should really be burned in a respectful, ceremonial manner, but do so discreetly so folks will not misinterpret your intentions. If it is illegal to burn artificial components in your point out or you really feel uncomfortable accomplishing so, speak to your neighborhood American Legion submit to come across out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which frequently manifest on Flag Day, June fourteen. Nearby Scout troops are another useful resource for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag ahead of storing it.

The American flag is typically folded in a particular arrangement, but we promise it truly is less complicated than folding a equipped sheet. When you have to shop your flag, get another individual to enable you. Get started by keeping it parallel to the ground with another individual, and fold the lessen stripes lengthwise in excess of the Union, retaining the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise yet again, retaining 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 up edge of the flag, and then convert the outer position parallel to the open up edge to make a 2nd triangle. Keep on creating triangular folds right until the whole flag is folded into 1 triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip outfits and objects with flags on them.

Whilst this area of the Flag Code is seldom observed, the rules recommend against applying the flag on outfits, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and short-term-use items like paper napkins and boxes. It does allow flag pins worn in excess of the still left lapel and flags on army and very first responder uniforms.

Having said that, the Supreme Court dominated in 1984 in the case Texas v. Johnson that the governing administration are not able to enforce flag-defense guidelines, so you is not going to get arrested for wearing an American flag T-shirt. Do regardless of what feels most respectful and appropriate to you.

Steer clear of these common flag blunders, much too.

Aside from wearing flag-covered outfits, there are a few other Flag Code violations that you can effortlessly keep away from. Most of these concern flag placement — a flag should really never contact anything beneath it although it truly is flying, it should really never been utilized as masking for a ceiling, and you should really never spot anything on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, term, determine, style and design, photo, or drawing of any mother nature”).