Rules of thumb to follow when flying and displaying multiple flags – American flag, state flag and/or company flags – in different situations.
Often times at corporate offices, government buildings, or even small businesses, several flags are displayed at once. The US Flag Code establishes protocol on how to properly fly more than one flag at a time.
- Three side-by-side poles and the US Flag, state flag and company flag: when looking at the display, from left to right, the US flag should be placed on the leftmost pole, the state flag in the center pole and the company flag on the far right pole
- Three side-by-side poles and the US Flag, state flag and a POW/MIA flag: when looking at the display, from left to right, the US flag should be placed on the leftmost pole, the state flag in the center pole and the POW/MIA flag on the far right pole. However, generally the POW/MIA flag is flown under the US Flag on the same pole
- Three side-by-side poles and the US Flag, another nation’s flag, and a state flag: from left to right, the US Flag, the nation’s flag, followed by the state’s flag
- Three flags and one pole: from top to bottom, the US Flag, POW/MIA flag, state flags, US territories, followed by military flags. Two national flags can never be on one single pole; the two flags must be the same size and height
According to the Flag Code, it is never acceptable to fly a company flag, corporate banners or other form of branding/advertising on the same pole as the US Flag; you will need to have a separate flagpole to display both flags at one time.
A rule of thumb: when there are three poles the same height, position the flags left to right as described above. However, when a center pole is taller than the others are, prominence of flag is center, then left pole then right pole.
Check out other flag etiquette to make sure you are flying your flags right.