Flag Etiquette

The section of Federal law dealing with American Flag etiquette is generally referred to as the Flag Code. Below are some general etiquette guidelines from the Flag Code:

  • The flag should be displayed on all days when weather permits, especially on legal holidays or other special occasions. 
  • No other flag may be flown above the The United States flag.
  • It is customary to display the flag from sunrise to sunset. The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source if during the hours of darkness.
  • The flying of the flag at half-staff is a sign of mourning. When flown at half-staff the flag should be first hoisted to the peak, then immediately lowered to the half-staff position. It should be raised to the peak again for a moment before it is lowered for the day.
  • The flag is to be flown at half-staff by order of the United States President or by the Governor of that state upon the death of principal figures of The United States as a mark of respect to their memory.
  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing, or be allowed to touch the ground or floor. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should be raised and lowered by hand, and when the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms.
  • To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. Many American Legion Posts hold Flag Disposal Ceremonies on Flag Day (June 14) each year. This ceremony creates a dignified and solemn occasion for the retirement of unusable flags.