Quick guidelines for proper American Flag Etiquette

Quick Guidelines for Proper American Flag Etiquette

Flag etiquette refers to the set of guidelines and customs for the respectful display, handling, and disposal of flags. Guidelines for flags are often observed out of respect for the flag's symbolism and the values it represents. Here are some key points of flag etiquette:

  1. Displaying the American Flag:
    • The American flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset. If displayed at night, it should be illuminated.
    • When hung vertically or horizontally against a wall or in a window, the union (the blue field with stars) should be at the top and to the flag's own right (observer's left).
    • When displayed on a staff or pole, the union should always be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff, in which case it should be positioned at the half-staff position.
    • The flag should not touch the ground or be used as drapery.
    • The Stars and Stripes takes precedence over all other flags. It should not be flown lower than another flag nor should it be smaller than another flag flown with it.

  2. Respectful Treatment of the U.S. Flag:
    • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing, including government officials.
    • When the flag becomes worn or tattered, it should be disposed of in a dignified manner, typically by burning in a respectful ceremony.

  3. Saluting the United States Flag:
    • When the flag passes in a parade or procession, civilians should stand at attention with their right hand over their heart. Military personnel should salute.
    • During the national anthem, civilians should stand at attention facing the flag, with their right hand over their heart.

  4. Half-Staff Display:
    • The flag is flown at half-staff to honor individuals who have died, typically prominent government officials or public servants.
    • The flag should be raised to the peak of the staff for an instant, then lowered to half-staff. It should be raised to the peak again before it is lowered for the day.

These are general guidelines for flag etiquette in the United States. Other countries may have their own specific customs and protocols for handling and displaying flags. It's essential to respect and adhere to these guidelines as a sign of honor and reverence for the flag and the principles it represents.