The American flag is obviously a symbol of our country but it has come to remind us of every man and woman who has fought for the freedom that we enjoy. The emotions that are stirred by images of our flag can run from happiness to sadness to trust and everything in between.
Most of us learned American flag etiquette or the Flag Code when we were young but occasionally, it is a good idea to review the guidelines so that the flag is treated with the respect it deserves.
- The U.S. flag should not be flown at night unless a light is shown on it.
- The U.S. flag should not be flown upside down except as a distress signal.
- The flag should never touch the ground.
- A U.S. flag should be displayed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff in mourning.
- When displaying multiple flags of a state, community or society on the same flagpole, the U.S. flag must always be on top.
- When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right. No flag should be higher or larger than the U.S. flag. The U.S. flag is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
- When the U.S. flag is flown with those of other countries, each flag should be the same size and must be on separate poles of the same height. Ideally, the flags should be raised and lowered simultaneously.
More information on flag etiquette can be found at the Veterans of Foreign Wars website.