How to Display the American Flag Anywhere and Anytime

Summer is flag holiday season! Make sure you’re flying your US flag correctly with our “How to Display the American Flag” guide.

Proper flag etiquette is a hot topic these days, since several people still are not aware of or simply don’t know the exact rules. For example, there are times you should NOT display the American flag, which include:

American Flags with Lights

  • During bad weather, unless it’s an all-weather flag
  • At night with no proper illumination
  • Never fly it upside down, except during cases of extreme distress

We all know Memorial Day and Independence Day are very patriotic holidays, but did you know there are many other holidays in which the flag should be flown? The flag can be displayed every single day of the year, but especially on the following days:

American Flag Fireworks Holidays

  • New Year’s Day
  • Inauguration Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Lincoln and Washington’s Birthdays
  • Mother’s Day
  • Armed Forces Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Flag Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • And other various state holidays

There are also rules regarding flying a flag indoors. If you are hanging a flag in the window, the flag should fall with the union to the viewer’s left hand side. If displayed on a way horizontally or vertically, the union should always be the uppermost and to the flag’s right, observer’s left.

American Flag displayed on House

When a flag is carried during a parade it should be held either on the right of flags or front and center and, never be dipped to a person or object. You should also not drape an American flag over a car, train, or boat.

For governmental purposes, the U.S. flag shall be flown daily. Designated polling areas should always fly flags on election days. The U.S. flag code also states that flags should be lowered to half-staff on the deaths of certain government officials. Schools should also raise a flag during the normal school hours.

Credit: InfoPlease

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6 Replies to “How to Display the American Flag Anywhere and Anytime

  1. Which way does the union face in this condition?:
    1. Outdoors, 2. hung vertically, 3. in an open archway, 4.over an entrance to a garden path, 5. street on one side, walkway on the other, at 90 degrees, 6. it’s not against a building, 7. it’s not over a street, 8. it’s viewed from both sides. Does the against-the-building rule apply? Or the indoor-corridor rule? Or the street rule?

  2. we rreside in a condo. we have displayed the flag on our outside deck. someone complained and we were asked to take it down. is it correct that anyone can display the american flag anywhere?

    1. The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 200556 prohibits a
      condominium, cooperative, or real estate management association from adopting or
      enforcing any policy or agreement that would restrict or prevent a member of the
      association from displaying the flag in accordance with the Federal Flag Code on
      residential property to which the member has a separate ownership interest.

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