Flag Etiquette

Bureau of Administration

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.

 

The National Flag represents the living country and is considered  to be a living thing emblematic of the respect and pride we have for  our nation.  Our flag is a precious possession.  Display it proudly. 

 

There are certain fundamental rules of Heraldry which, if understood generally, indicate the proper method of  displaying the flag.  The right arm,  which is the sword arm and the point of danger, is the place of honor.   Hence, the union of the flag is the place of honor or the honor point.


The National Emblem is a symbol of your great country, our heritage and our place in the world.  We owe reverence and respect to our flag.  It represents the highest ideals of  individual liberty, justice and equal opportunity for all.

 

 

How to Display the Flag

 

 

When flown at half -staff, the flag is first hoisted to the peak of the staff and then lowered to half-staff.  Before lowering the flag for the day it is again raised to the peak  and then lowered.  On Memorial Day, the flag is displayed at half-staff from sunrise until noon and at full staff from noon until sunset.


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 it is displayed with any other flag against a wall or in the open, from crossed staffs, the flag of the United States should be on the right, the flag's own right, and it's staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

 

When carried in a procession with another flag or flags, the flag of the United States should be either on the marching right, i.e., the flag's own right, or when there is a line of  other flags the flag of the United States may be in front of the center of that line.


When the flag of the United  States is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or outdoors.  When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall the union should be uppermost and to the flags own right, i.e., the observer's left.  When displayed in a window it should be the same way.  The flag should never be draped or used as a decoration to replace bunting.  Never use them for decorations.  Red-white-blue striped bunting is designed for this use.

 

When displayed  over the middle of the street, as between buildings, the flag of the United States should be suspended vertically with the union to the north on an east and west street and to the east on a north and south street.

 

When used on a speaker's platform the flag should be displayed above and behind the speaker.  It should never be used to cover the speaker's table nor to drape over the front of  the platform.  If flown from staff it should be on the speaker's right.

When displayed on the pulpit or chancel in a church, the flag of the United States should be flown from a staff placed on the clergyman's right as he/she faces the congregation.  All other flags on the pulpit or chancel should be on his/her left. However, when it is displayed on the floor of the church, on a level with the congregation, the position of the flag is reversed from that above.  It is placed on the right of the congregation, as one faces the pulpit or chancel.


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.  It should not be allowed to touch the ground.  The casket should be carried foot-first from
the hearse to the grave.

 

Flag Etiquette

 


It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open.  However, the flag may be displayed at night upon special occasions when it is desired to produce a patriotic effect.
  
The Flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

The Flag should be displayed daily, weather permitting, on or near the main administration building of every public institution.  The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election day and should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.

No other flag or pennant should be placed above or,  if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by navel chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy.
 
The Flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue of monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument. 

The Flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. 

The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.  By "half-staff" is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff.  That no disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America, the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor. 

The Flag should never be displayed with the union down save as a signal of dire distress.

The Flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor or water.

The Flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

The Flag should never be used as a drapery of any sort whatsoever, never festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.  Bunting of  blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above the white in the middle, and red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of  a platform, and for decorations in general.

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in a review, all persons present should face the flag, stand at attention, and salute.  Those present in uniform should render the military salute.  When not in uniform, men should remove the head-dress with the right hand holding it at left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.  Men without hats should salute in the same manner.  Aliens should stand at attention.  Women should salute by placing the right hand over the heart.  The salute to the flag in the moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.