June 26, 2009

Flag Etiquette for the Fourth

Image via Country Living

I love to see the American flag flying on a beautiful summer day. Especially on the Fourth of July when everywhere you go, the streets are dressed in red, white and blue. But did you know that there is a certain protocol to follow when displaying an American flag? In fact, there are actual laws in effect to protect and honor Old Glory.

Before you set out a flag to show your patriotism this Independence day, be sure to review the flag etiquette rules. For a full list, including the Flag Code, visit USHistory.org.
  • A flag should not be flown in inclement weather, unless it is an all-weather flag
  • The flag should not be displayed in the dark. One should display a flag from sunrise to sunset unless it will be properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
  • Any time the flag is displayed in a place other than from a pole or staff, it should be hung flat with the blue/star portion (referred to as "the union") at the observers upper left. The same is true when it is hung from a window-- the flag should be positioned so that from the street, the union appears in the upper left hand corner
  • When a flag is flown at half-staff, it should first be raised to the very top of the flag pole for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position
  • A flag should never be draped across the back of things like boats, nor should it be used as a table cloth
  • Flag pins should be worn on the left lapel near the heart
  • A flag should never be allowed to touch what lies beneath it (whether the ground, water or an object