WHEN TO DISPLAY THE FLAG
The flag should be displayed on all days when weather
permits, especially on legal holidays or other special
occasions. It is customary to display the flag from sunrise
to sunset on buildings or on stationary flagstaffs
in the open. However, on special occasions it may be
displayed at night, preferably lighted. In several places
the flag flies day and night; among these are the Capitol
in Washington, D.C., and the Fort Henry National
Monument in Baltimore, which was the inspiration for
“The Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key.
The flag should be displayed…
• on or near the main administration building of every
• in or near polling places on election days
• in or near schools when they are in session
A citizen may fly the flag on any day he wishes.
HOW TO FLY THE FLAG
The flag should be raised and lowered by hand.
Never, raise the flag while it is furled; unfurl, then hoist
quickly to the peak of the flagstaff. It should be lowered
slowly and ceremoniously. The flag should never be allowed
to touch anything beneath it, such as the ground
or the floor.
The flying of the flag at half-staff, is a sign of mourning.
When flown at half-staff, the flag should be first hoisted
to the peak, then immediately lowered to the half-staff
position. It should be raised to the peak again for a
moment before it is lowered for the day. “Half-staff” is
the point midway between the top and bottom of the
flagstaff. On Memorial Day in May, the flag should fly at
half-staff from sunrise until noon, and at full-staff from
noon until sunset.
No other flag may be flown above The United States
HOW TO DISPLAY THE FLAG
When carried in procession with another flag or flags,
the Stars and Stripes should be at the right-front of the
column, or when there is a line of other flags, in front of
the center of that line.
When a number of flags are grouped and displayed
from staffs, the flag of the United States should be in
the center or at the highest point of the group. When
displayed with another flag from crossed staffs, the flag
of the United States should be on the right (the flag’s
own right), and its staff should be in front of the staff of
the other flag.
If the flag is displayed from a staff projected from a
window sill, balcony or front of a building, the union of
the flag should go to the peak of the staff (unless the
flag is to be displayed at half-staff).
When the flag is displayed in any manner other than
being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat,
whether indoors or out. If displayed either horizontally
or vertically against a wall, the union 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 suspended in the same way-that is, with the union
to the left of the observer in the street.
When displayed over the middle of the street, the Stars
and Stripes should be suspended vertical with the
union to the north on an east-west street and to the
east on a north-south street.
When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a
rope extending from house to pole at the edge of the
sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out from the building
toward the pole union first.
When used on a speaker’s platform the flag may be
displayed flat, above and behind the speaker. If flown
from a staff it should be on the speaker’s right; all other
flags on the platform should be on his left.
When it is displayed on the pulpit or chancel in a
church, the flag should be flown from a staff placed on
the clergyman’s right as he faces the congregation.
All other flags on the pulpit or chancel should be on
However, when the flag is displayed on the floor of a
church or auditorium, on a level with the audience, it is
placed to the right of the audience.
When flags of states or cities, or pennants of societies,
are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the
United States, the latter should always be at the peak.
When flown from adjacent staffs, the Stars and Stripes
should be raised first and lowered last.
When used to cover a casket, the flag should be
placed so that the union is at the head and over the left
shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave
or allowed to touch the ground. The casket should be
carried foot-first from the hearse to the grave.
SALUTING THE FLAG
In saluting the flag those present in uniform should
render the military salute. When not in uniform, men
should remove the hat with the right hand and hold
it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.
Women, and men without hats, should place the right
hand over the heart. All persons present should face the flag, stand at attention and salute on the following occasions:
1. When the flag is passing in a parade or review. The
salute to the flag in the moving column is rendered at
the moment the flag passes.
2. During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag.
3. When the National Anthem is played and the flag is
4. During the Pledge of Allegiance…I pledge allegiance
to the flag of the United States of America and to the
Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
When the National Anthem is played and the flag is not
displayed, all present should stand and face toward
the music. Those in uniform should salute at the first
note of the anthem, retaining this position until the last
note. All others should stand at attention, men removing
their hats. When the flag is displayed, all present
should face the flag and salute.
HOW TO DISPOSE OF WORN FLAGS
Every precaution should be taken to prevent the flag
from becoming soiled. When a flag is in such a condition,
through wear or damage, that is no longer a fitting
emblem for display, it should be destroyed privately in
a dignified manner.
Many Boy Scout and civic organizations would be happy to assist you in US Flag disposal.