How To Properly Display the American Flag

How To Properly Display the American Flag

  • Jessica Richardson
  • 01/19/19
Memorial Day and July 4th are just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to show your patriotism by displaying the American flag on your house. If you are thinking of flying Old Glory, you’ll want to keep proper etiquette in mind.

Based on the official Flag Code, here’s what you need to know about displaying the flag at your home


When displaying a flag from your house it should be hung from a staff angled out from the front wall, windowsill or balcony.

Never allow the flag to touch the ground, floor, water, or anything else beneath it. You may also hang the flag from a horizontal staff.

Whether the flag hangs from an angled or horizontal staff, be sure the union (the rectangle with the stars) is at the peak. A flag hanging with the union down signals extreme distress.

When the flag is displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be at the top and to your left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be hung so that the union is on the left when you see it from the street.

The flag is typically flown from sunrise to sunset, but the U.S. Code says that when a patriotic effect is desired, you can display it around the clock. If you are hanging it from a flag pole, it must be illuminated. The flag should not be displayed in inclement weather.

If you display the American flag next to other flags, place it on the right side of a single flag or at the center of a group and slightly higher than the other flags.

If an American flag is on the same staff as other flags, it should always be at the top giving it the greatest prominence or honor.

And finally – a friend I were recently debating this one – when the flag is too worn or tattered to be flown, it should be disposed of by burning in a dignified manner.


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