Display the American Flag with Respect Every Time

The US Flag Code lays out guidelines for how to display the American Flag correctly with respect and honor.

When you display a flag flat against a wall, which way should the stars face? What if you are hanging that flag outside, does that make a difference? Continuing reading for advice on how to display the American flag with honor.

What many people don’t realize is that there is a lot that goes into properly handling a flag than hoisting it up a flag pole. The US Flag Code even outlines the correct way to raise and lower a flag, along with setting it to half-staff.

American Flag by US Capitol

When you do want to fly your flag at half-staff, raise it all the way to the top quickly and then slowly lower it to half-staff. The flag should also be raised back to the top before being lowered all the way down at sunset. You don’t want to simply hoist it half-way and stop. For more information on the difference between half-staff and half-mast, check out this article!

Flag etiquette is a very serious subject that people all too often don’t pay enough attention to. So many men and women have fought and given their lives to protect our flag, so we should treat it with the respect it deserves. That means always following proper flag protocol when displaying, folding and disposing of one.

And to answer the question from earlier, when you display a flag flatly against a wall, the union (or blue field of stars) should always face to the left. This goes for whether it is hanging outside, inside… anywhere!

For more ways to honor the flag, check out Five Ways Everyone Can Show the Flag Respect.

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5 Replies to “Display the American Flag with Respect Every Time

  1. Just a well written and well explained post, every one should respect flags for the country. Military for any of the country, is one of the very well-disciplined part and at the end as you have mentioned that anyone besides military respect flags, and answer is Yes. When it comes to country everyone feels a great respect for the place the grown-up and naturally respect comes.

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  3. Recently during our annual Memorial Day ceremony, a flag which had been used for the past year was lowered, with a new flag raised in its place. Although a few of us placed our right hands over our hearts and stood quietly at attention during this exchange of flags, many in the audience continued to talk, joke and behave in ways that I considered to be inappropriate. The two men who were actively involved in the lowering/raising of the flags were cracking jokes as they performed their duty. I was shocked and wonder what I should say,if anything, to the organizer(s) before next year’s ceremony. I am a retired elementary school teacher who instructed the students assigned to me concerning the correct behavior when participating in flag ceremonies.

    1. We believe that instructing your own students and helping them understand it is a somber ceremony, and those who we are honoring deserve our silence and respect was a great way to handle it. If you feel compelled to get with the organizers I might suggest sending them a kind email explaining what you saw and perhaps make some suggestions. We would maybe ask that they go over with everyone before the ceremony started what the expectations are. Thank you for reaching out and please let us know if you have other questions.

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