Flag Display Protocol in the United States: Guidelines and Etiquette

Flag Display Protocol in the United States: Guidelines and Etiquette

The American flag is a powerful symbol of patriotism and national pride. To honor this emblem properly, it is essential to understand the flag display protocol and follow the established etiquette. In this article, we will provide guidance on properly displaying American flags in the United States. We will cover topics such as the use of flagpoles, proper flag placement, rules for display during special events, and the appropriate care when handling the flags.

Flagpole Selection and Installation

When displaying an American flag, it is crucial to select a suitable flagpole that meets your needs. Consider factors such as height, material, installation location and durability. Ensure that the flagpole is properly installed, by following the installation directions supplied, and securely anchored to withstand weather conditions.

Proper Flag Placement

When hoisting the American flag, it should always be positioned above any other flags or banners. The U.S. flag should be the highest point of the display, demonstrating its importance and prominence. If multiple flags are displayed on the same pole, the American flag should be at the top.

Half Staff & Displaying Flags During Special Events

During national holidays and observances such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, it is customary to fly the American flag at full staff. On Memorial Day, however, the flag should be flown at half-staff until noon as a mark of respect for fallen heroes. It should then be raised briskly to full staff for the remainder of the day. In addition, the American flag can be flown at half staff during times of national or community mourning or solemn remembrance. National and local governments will make public announcements about half staff timeframes and guidelines for citizens. 

Keeping the American Flag Lit at Night

Per Federal Flag Code, Section 2, paragraph (a), it is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. 

If you’re looking for a high-quality lighting option that allows you to honor flag etiquette throughout the night that is easy to install, you can explore more here.

Flag Care and Handling

Proper care is essential to maintain Old Glory’s integrity and honor. Regularly inspect the flag for signs of wear and tear. When not in use, store the flag in a clean and dry area. If the flag becomes dirty, it can be hand washed using a mild detergent and cold water. Never allow the flag to touch the ground, and handle it with respect and reverence.

Flag Retirement

USA flag display protocol and etiquette play a significant role in honoring the American flag and the principles it represents. It is important to retire your flag respectfully when it is no longer suitable to be flown or displayed. The key to properly retiring your flag is to do it in a ceremonious way. Some options include burying the flag while playing or singing the national anthem or saluting the flag while it is burned by fire. Many local fire-stations, VFW halls and Boy Scouts troops will collect retired flags and perform retirement ceremonies for citizens. 

By following these guidelines, we demonstrate our respect for the flag and the sacrifices made for our freedom. From selecting the right flagpole to properly handling and caring for the flag, every step contributes to maintaining its integrity and symbolism. Let us remember that displaying, maintaining and retiring the American flag is not just an act of patriotism but also a responsibility to uphold the values and ideals it represents.

For those in search of high-quality flagpoles to display their American flags, Atlantic Flagpole is a trusted family-owned company. We offer a vast catalog of products, including American made USA flags and the best-selling Phoenix Telescoping Flagpole, which is highly sought after for both residential and institutional locations.

Visit our website to explore our extensive range of products and find the perfect flagpole to enhance your flag display. With Atlantic Flagpole, you can trust in our dedication to providing exceptional American-made products that meet your flag display needs.

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