Here are all the major things you need to know regarding how to fly a U.S. flag.
As a proud American, you understand all the flag represents and why it deserves to be treated with the utmost of respect. While you may know the basics that the flag should never touch the ground, there is more to this iconic object than just that one element.
Never fly the flag in darkness
One of the biggest things to remember when considering how to fly a U.S. flag is the matter of illumination. An American flag flown in darkness is a disgrace to the brave men and women who died fighting for all the flag represents. It is important to make sure the flag is properly illuminated at nightfall and remains illuminated until sunrise. You also need to remember that the flag must be illuminated on all sides, so the best bet is to place lights on both sides of the flag for the best effect and to avoid any shadowy areas.
Know when to fly a flag upside down
While you may already know about flying the flag in an illuminated manner, the matter of flying the flag upside is a less commonly discussed aspect. The proper way to fly the flag is with the blue field of stars at the top but in times of great distress to life or property, it is considered acceptable to fly the flag upside down with the blue field on the bottom to indicate a distress signal.
Make sure the flag has prominence over other flags
Another matter of important aspect when flying the American flag is where to place it when being flown with other flags such as state flags, business flags, or religious flags. The American flag should be flown at a higher position than all other flags to show its prominence regardless of location or the other flags being flown. There are only two exceptions to this rule with one being the United Nations flag being flown above all national flags, American including, at the headquarters in New York City, and the other being when a Naval chaplain performs a ceremony while at sea and the church flag is permissible as holding a higher prominence.
Know when to lower the flag
While many are under the impression that the flag should be taken down at sundown, this isn’t the case in all situations. The only reason to take the flag down every day at sundown is if you do not have lighting in place to keep the flag illuminated properly. If the flag is properly illuminated at night, it is permissible to fly it 24 hours a day unless the President declares a time of national mourning such as the death of a former official or other such political figure.
Make sure the flag is in good condition
The final element in the basics of flag flying is to make sure the American flag is in good condition. There is nothing more disrespectful to the flag and all it stands for than a dirty flag with missing grommets or holes in the material.