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Rules of the American Flag

Displaying an American flag is a fantastic way to present off your like for our country. Nonetheless, your act of patriotism can swiftly turn out to be (unintentionally) disrespectful if you happen to be unaware of an essential established of guidelines. The U.S. Flag Code, recognized by Congress in 1942, offers pointers for treating this countrywide symbol with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all days, but the Flag Code especially recommends displaying it on Independence Day, as effectively as other important holiday seasons like Flag Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.

Take note: Memorial Day has its own flag etiquette. The American flag really should be flown at half-mast from dawn till midday, then raised to comprehensive mast for the rest of the holiday getaway.

Brush up on the rest of your flag etiquette in advance of Memorial Day weekend by finding out how to fly the Stars and Stripes the right way.

You will find a right and a improper way to dangle the flag vertically.

You should not dangle your flag backwards, upside down, or in yet another inappropriate trend. If you happen to be hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or from a wall), the Union part with the stars really should go on the observer’s left. Never ever dip the flag to any particular person or nearly anything.

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Photographs

Stay away from letting the flag contact the floor.

Stop your flag from touching the floor, flooring, or drinking water. It really is not essential to dispose of your flag if it accidentally hits the pavement, but you really should make confident that it’s in very good condition before displaying it once more.

Know the change involving half-employees and half-mast.

There is a change involving half-employees and half-mast, even however they’re usually made use of interchangeably. “50 %-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, when “half-employees” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on half-employees at the right situations.

The flag is flown at half-employees when the nation is in mourning, this kind of as for the loss of life of govt formal or for remembrance, as effectively as from dawn to midday on Memorial Day. When traveling the flag at half-employees, to start with hoist it to the peak for an prompt and then decrease to the half-employees place.

50 %-employees is outlined as 1-half the length involving the major and bottom of the flagpole. The flag really should be once more raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

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Only fly a flag at night if it is illuminated.

Tailor made dictates that you really should show flags only from dawn to sunset, but you can keep the stars and stripes traveling 24 hours a day if it is thoroughly illuminated in the course of the hours of darkness.

You should not fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast phone calls for inclement weather, you happen to be not meant to show the flag — other than if it’s an all-weather flag. Nonetheless, most flags these day are manufactured of all-weather, non-absorbent materials like nylon, the American Legion states.

Constantly fly the American flag over other flags.

That incorporates condition and city flags. If they have to be at the very same degree (i.e., you happen to be hanging them vertically from a home or porch), place the American flag on the left. Constantly hoist the American flag to start with and decrease it final.

Only fly a flag in very good condition.

No subject how effectively you consider treatment of Outdated Glory, often age just wears down a flag. More recent flags manufactured with artificial materials can be machine washed in cold drinking water with a gentle detergent, and hung to dry.

Older, far more fragile flags really should be hand washed making use of Woolite or a related merchandise. Little tears can be fixed by hand, so extensive as the mends usually are not overtly visible when the flag is displayed. Flags that are extremely worn, torn, or faded really should be thoroughly disposed of.

Dispose of an old flag in a respectful method.

The Federal Flag Code says that unserviceable flags really should be burned in a respectful, ceremonial method, but do so discreetly so men and women do not misinterpret your intentions. If it is unlawful to melt away artificial materials in your condition or you sense awkward accomplishing so, contact your local American Legion article to discover out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which usually manifest on Flag Day, June 14. Community Scout troops are yet another useful resource for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag before storing it.

The American flag is usually folded in a specific arrangement, but we guarantee it’s a lot easier than folding a equipped sheet. When you have to shop your flag, grab yet another particular person to assistance you. Start by keeping it parallel to the floor with yet another particular person, and fold the decrease stripes lengthwise around the Union, keeping the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise once more, keeping the blue Union on the outside.

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 flip the outer place parallel to the open edge to make a 2nd triangle. Continue on earning triangular folds till the entire flag is folded into 1 triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip garments and objects with flags on them.

When this portion of the Flag Code is hardly ever observed, the pointers recommend from making use of the flag on garments, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and momentary-use objects like paper napkins and containers. It does permit flag pins worn around the left lapel and flags on armed service and to start with responder uniforms.

Nonetheless, the Supreme Court docket dominated in 1984 in the circumstance Texas v. Johnson that the govt are not able to enforce flag-security guidelines, so you will never get arrested for sporting an American flag T-shirt. Do whatever feels most respectful and proper to you.

Stay away from these common flag blunders, way too.

Apart from sporting flag-covered garments, there are a pair other Flag Code violations that you can quickly stay away from. Most of these issue flag placement — a flag really should hardly ever contact nearly anything beneath it when it’s traveling, it really should hardly ever been made use of as covering for a ceiling, and you really should hardly ever spot nearly anything on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, phrase, determine, style and design, photo, or drawing of any nature”).