Follow these basic rules of American flag etiquette and learn the do's and don'ts of flying the flag at your house.
Why is the Flag Red, White and Blue?
- Red symbolizes hardiness, valor and blood shed for liberty
- White symbolizes purity, innocence and equality
- Blue represents vigilance, perseverance, justice and fraternity.
*Was the many-times-married Betsy Ross really the original designer and seamstress of the first United States flag?
Between Dawn and DuskFlags should be displayed only during daylight, between sunrise and sunset. The flag can be displayed 24 hours if it is illuminated. The American Legion interprets "proper illumination" as a light specifically placed to illuminate the flag (preferred) or having a light source sufficient to illuminate the flag so it is recognizable by the casual observer.
WeatherConsider the weather before flying your American flag. Do not display it during rain, snow, sleet, hail or high winds.
Display on the RightThe flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag’s own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
And CenterThe flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
How to Display the FlagThe American flag should be displayed vertically, whether indoors or outdoors, and suspended so that its folds fall free as though the flag were staffed. The stripes may be displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, and the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right (that is, to the observer's left).
When displayed in a window of a home or a place of business, the American flag should be displayed in the same way (that is, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street). Got it?
Hanging From Window Sill, Balcony or Over a SidewalkWhen the American flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from a window sill, balcony or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
Flying the Flag at Half-StaffThe term “half-staff” means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff.
Don't Let It TouchThe flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or other objects. Also, do not place the flag where the wind will whip it against rough surfaces, tree branches, wires or cables, etc. Even the smallest tear can trigger the flag to become tattered if whipped around in the wind.
What Size Flag?According to the American Legion, the length of the flag should be approximately 1/4 to 1/3 the height of the pole.
- 16-foot pole: 3-foot x 5-foot flag
- 20-foot pole: 3-foot x 5-foot or 4-foot x 6-foot flag
- 25-foot pole: 4-foot x 6-foot or 5-foot x 8-foot flag
- 30-foot pole: 5-foot x 8-foot or 6-foot x 10-foot flag
- 35-foot pole: 6-foot x 10-foot or 8-foot x 12-foot flag
- 40-foot pole: 6-foot x 10-foot or 8-foot x 12-foot flag