Americans put their star-spangled banners on display to show respect for what the flag represents: our freedom, independence, and unity as a nation. It’s a sign of patriotism, loyalty, and gratitude for the freedom and liberty that Americans enjoy. Believe it or not, there are official U.S. government rules when it comes to flying Old Glory. Do you know how to properly display your flag? Follow these guidelines to give your American flag the respect it deserves:

  • The flag should be flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • Raise the flag quickly in the morning but lower it slowly at sunset.
  • Never fly your flag at night without a light shining on it.
  • Although many flags are said to be weatherproof, you should never fly your flag in the rain or other inclement weather.
  • Following a death or tragedy, the flag should be flown for 30 days at half-staff.
  • When flying your flag vertically on a pole, the union (the blue section with stars) should be at the top and end of the pole, always facing away from your house.
  • When displayed against a wall, the union should be at top left whether the flag is hung vertically or horizontally.
  • Be sure that the American flag is always flown at the top of your pole. The state flag and other banners should fly below it.
  • You should never let your flag touch the ground.
  • When your flag becomes old and worn out, retire it by either burying it or burning it. You should never throw a flag in the garbage.

For information on how to properly care for and fold your flag, please read our blog about Proper Flag Care.

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