2016-2017 National Americanism Ambassador
Displaying the U.S. Flag
The American Flag is an iconic symbol of our nation’s freedom. Below you will find rules and regulations for displaying the Flag. More information can be found on the VFW website here: http://www.vfw.org/community/flag-etiquette.
On Same Staff
U.S. Flag at peak, above any other flag.
U.S. Flag goes to its own right. Flags of other nations are flown at same height.
U.S. Flag to marchers right (observer’s left).
On Speaker’s Platform
When displayed with a speaker’s platform, it must be above and behind the speaker. If mounted on a staff it is on the speaker’s right.
Never use the Flag for decoration. Use bunting with the blue on top, then white, then red.
All persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.
Over a Street Union (stars) face north or east depending on the direction of the street.
On special days, the Flag may be flown at half-staff. On Memorial Day it is flown at half-staff until noon and then raised.
- Do not let the Flag touch the ground.
- Do not fly Flag upside down unless there is an emergency.
- Do not carry the flag Flat, or carry things in it.
- Do not use the Flag as clothing.
- Do not store the Flag where it can get dirty.
- Do not use it as a cover.
- Do not fasten it or tie it back. Always allow it to fall free.
- Do not draw on, or otherwise mark the Flag.
Official U.S. Flag Code
Public Law 94-344, known as the Federal Flag Code, contains rules for handling and displaying the U.S. Flag. While the federal code contains no penalties for misusing the Flag, states have their own flag codes and may impose penalties. The language of the federal code makes clear that the Flag is a living symbol.
In response to a Supreme Court decision which held that a state law prohibiting Flag burning was unconstitutional, Congress enacted the Flag Protection Act in 1989. It provides that anyone who knowingly desecrates the Flag may be fined and/or imprisoned for up to one year. However, this law was challenged by the Supreme Court in a 1990 decision that the Flag Protection Act violates the First Amendment free speech protections. Click here to access the U.S. Flag Code Guide.
Thank you for all you do for our veterans and God bless America!