Displaying an American flag is a fantastic way to display off your really like for our place. However, your act of patriotism can quickly develop into (unintentionally) disrespectful if you’re unaware of an essential established of regulations. The U.S. Flag Code, recognized by Congress in 1942, offers recommendations for managing this countrywide symbol with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all days, but the Flag Code specifically suggests displaying it on Independence Day, as very well as other main holiday seasons like Flag Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.

Acquire observe: Memorial Day has its have flag etiquette. The American flag should be flown at 50 %-mast from sunrise until finally noon, then elevated to full mast for the rest of the holiday.

Brush up on the rest of your flag etiquette forward of Memorial Day weekend by understanding how to fly the Stars and Stripes the correct way.

There is a correct and a wrong way to hold the flag vertically.

Really don’t hold your flag backwards, upside down, or in yet another inappropriate trend. If you’re hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or against a wall), the Union part with the stars should go on the observer’s left. By no means dip the flag to any human being or anything at all.

american flag on wooden house by wet road

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Visuals

Keep away from permitting the flag touch the floor.

Avert your flag from touching the floor, floor, or water. It truly is not necessary to dispose of your flag if it unintentionally hits the pavement, but you should make absolutely sure that it truly is in excellent issue ahead of displaying it yet again.

Know the change in between 50 %-team and 50 %-mast.

There is a change in between 50 %-team and 50 %-mast, even while they’re typically utilised interchangeably. “Half-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, when “50 %-team” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on 50 %-team at the correct situations.

The flag is flown at 50 %-team when the nation is in mourning, this kind of as for the dying of authorities official or for remembrance, as very well as from sunrise to noon on Memorial Day. When traveling the flag at 50 %-team, to start with hoist it to the peak for an fast and then reduced to the 50 %-team placement.

Half-team is outlined as just one-50 % the length in between the best and bottom of the flagpole. The flag should be yet again elevated to the peak ahead of it is reduced for the working day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

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Only fly a flag at evening if it is illuminated.

Customized dictates that you should exhibit flags only from sunrise to sunset, but you can hold the stars and stripes traveling 24 hours a working day if it is thoroughly illuminated all through the hours of darkness.

Really don’t fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast phone calls for inclement temperature, you’re not intended to exhibit the flag — except if it truly is an all-temperature flag. However, most flags these working day are designed of all-temperature, non-absorbent components like nylon, the American Legion states.

Often fly the American flag above other flags.

That incorporates condition and town flags. If they have to be at the exact level (i.e., you’re hanging them vertically from a residence or porch), put the American flag on the left. Often hoist the American flag to start with and reduced it final.

Only fly a flag in excellent issue.

No issue how very well you acquire care of Old Glory, from time to time age just wears down a flag. Newer flags designed with artificial components can be equipment washed in chilly water with a delicate detergent, and hung to dry.

More mature, extra fragile flags should be hand washed employing Woolite or a very similar product. Tiny tears can be repaired by hand, so very long as the mends aren’t overtly obvious when the flag is exhibited. Flags that are extremely worn, torn, or light should be thoroughly disposed of.

Dispose of an aged flag in a respectful method.

The Federal Flag Code states that unserviceable flags should be burned in a respectful, ceremonial method, but do so discreetly so persons don’t misinterpret your intentions. If it is unlawful to burn up artificial components in your condition or you come to feel uncomfortable accomplishing so, speak to your community American Legion publish to uncover out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which typically come about on Flag Day, June fourteen. Nearby Scout troops are yet another resource for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag ahead of storing it.

The American flag is customarily folded in a specific arrangement, but we ensure it truly is less complicated than folding a equipped sheet. When you have to retail outlet your flag, get yet another human being to support you. Start out by keeping it parallel to the floor with yet another human being, and fold the reduced stripes lengthwise around the Union, maintaining the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise yet again, maintaining 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 edge of the flag, and then convert the outer point parallel to the open edge to make a next triangle. Carry on making triangular folds until finally the total flag is folded into just one triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip garments and objects with flags on them.

While this part of the Flag Code is hardly ever observed, the recommendations suggest against employing the flag on garments, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and short term-use goods like paper napkins and packing containers. It does allow flag pins worn around the left lapel and flags on navy and to start with responder uniforms.

However, the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 in the circumstance Texas v. Johnson that the authorities can’t enforce flag-safety legal guidelines, so you would not get arrested for sporting an American flag T-shirt. Do what ever feels most respectful and correct to you.

Keep away from these frequent flag errors, far too.

Moreover sporting flag-covered garments, there are a pair other Flag Code violations that you can simply keep away from. Most of these problem flag placement — a flag should in no way touch anything at all beneath it when it truly is traveling, it should in no way been utilised as masking for a ceiling, and you should in no way location anything at all on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, phrase, determine, style, image, or drawing of any mother nature”).

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