Proper Display of the US Flag|
Also known as "Flag Etiquette"
Excerpted from The Flag Code of The United States
For more about the US flag...
1. OVER A STREET - When the flag is
displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically
with the union (blue field of stars) to the north over an east-west street, or to the east over a
2. CROSSED STAFFS AGAINST A WALL - The US flag, when displayed with another flag against
a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the flag's own right
(that is... to the viewer's left), and its staff should be in
front of the staff of the other flag.
3. HALF-STAFF - The flag, when
flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and
then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to
the peak before it is lowered for the day. By "half-staff" is meant lowering
the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff.
Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only
by order of the President of the United States.
4. OTHER FLAGS ON SAME HALYARD - When flags of
states, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the
same halyard with the US flag, the US flag should always be
at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the US flag should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or
pennant may be placed above the US flag, or to the right of
the US flag.
5. FROM A BUILDING - When the flag
is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house (or other building) to a pole at
the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union (blue field of stars) first, from
6. AT PEAK OF STAFF - When the US flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at
an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union (blue field of stars) of
the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff, unless the flag is at
7. CASKET - When the flag
is used to cover a casket, the union (blue field of stars) is at the
head and over the left shoulder (of the deceased). The flag should not be lowered into the
grave or allowed to touch the ground.
8. VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL - When the flag
is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should
be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either
horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union (blue field of stars) should be uppermost and
to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in
a window, it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union (blue field of stars) to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons,
rosettes or drapings are desired, bunting of blue, white and red should be
used, but never the flag.
This and #12 are the most common errors when displaying the US flag.
9. PROCESSION or PARADE - The flag,
when carried in a procession with another flag, or flags, should be either
on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line
of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
GROUP OF FLAGS - The US flag should be at the center and at the
highest point of the group when a number of flags of states or localities or
pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
11. OTHER NATIONS - When flags of
two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs
of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size.
International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that
of another nation in time of peace.
12. AT PODIUM or ON STAGE - When
displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the US flag should hold the position of superior prominence, in
advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or
speaker's right as he/she faces the audience (to your left as you look at the speaker). Any other flag so displayed should
be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker (to the right as you look at it from the
This and #8 are the most common errors when displaying the US flag.