‘Tis the Season for Flying the American Flag

It’s hard to believe that Flag Day is just around the corner, and only three short weeks later it will be the Fourth of July.   In a longstanding tradition, many Americans will celebrate these patriotic holidays by proudly displaying the American flag.  The U.S. Flag Code dictates certain ways to fly (and not fly) the red, white and blue, so before you start decorating your home or business, follow these important rules. Continue reading “‘Tis the Season for Flying the American Flag”

Before you fly the American Flag on Memorial Day – Read This!

memorial day american flag
Memorial Day and USA Flag Code

When most people think about Memorial Day and the three-day weekend that surrounds it, they are reminded of barbecues, a day at the beach, or the day that the swim club opens for business.  But anyone who has served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines is aware of a much deeper meaning.  Memorial Day is more than just a day to fly the American Flag from your front porch while firing up the grill in the backyard.  It is a day of remembrance for our fallen soldiers, and many public ceremonies are held across the country, including the National Memorial Day remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery.

According to the U.S. Flag Code, flying the flag on Memorial Day is not to be taken lightly.  Continue reading “Before you fly the American Flag on Memorial Day – Read This!”

Fun Facts about the American Flag

More than likely, the American flag is the most recognizable flag on the planet.  Even when it is lined up with hundreds of other flags, it’s hard to miss those stars and stripes flying in the wind, and it is doubtful it would ever be mistaken for the flag of another country.

Most Americans pride themselves on their knowledge of the American flag’s history, such as the number of stars representing the number of states, and the number of stripes the number of original colonies.  But there are many little-known “American Flag facts” that few people know about.

  • Did you know that the flag should only displayed until dark, and that it should be taken down at dusk?  If you have ever been a Boy Scout, this might not be news to you.  But many people don’t know that a flag can be displayed around the clock as long as it is well-lit.  However, the flag should always be taken down in foul weather.
  • If a flag is ever flown upside down, it spells danger.  The only time this should be done is when you are in need of immediate assistance.  Other countries interpret an upside-down flag as being at war.
  • When a flag can no longer be used, and it cannot be repaired, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, such as burning.  However, it is acceptable to dry clean or wash a flag that is dirty.
  • Any individual can have a flag draped over their coffin, even if they are not a veteran.
  • Only the President and State Governors are allowed to order government buildings to fly their flags at half staff.

If you are planning to fly an American flag this Memorial Day and beyond, it might help to consult the U.S. Flag Code to be sure you don’t break any rules.  You can purchase an American flag at the Flagpro.com online store.

Practice “Flag Etiquette” When Flying the American Flag

Ever since the American Flag was adopted by Congress in 1777 on June 14th (which we now know as Flag Day), people have set about making rules to ensure it is displayed properly and with a high degree of respect.

Even if your neighbors don’t care about how and when you fly the United States (U.S.) Flag, there are a number of guidelines that have been recorded in national law books.  In fact, if you read the Patriotic Customs section of Chapter 10 in the Title 36 of the U.S. Code, you will learn there are many accepted “norms” in how the flag should be flown.

Flying the American Flag

As Memorial Day approaches, it helps to know the proper way to display “old glory” without breaking any rules.

According to the U.S. Flag Code the following holidays are recognized as days to display the flag:

1. New Year’s Day – Jan. 1
2. Inauguration Day – Jan. 20
3. Lincoln’s Birthday – Feb. 12
4. Washington’s Birthday – third Monday in February
5. Easter Sunday – (variable)
6. Mother’s Day – second Sunday in May
7. Armed Forces Day – third Saturday in May
8. Memorial Day (half-staff until noon) – last Monday in May
9. Flag Day – June 14
10. Independence Day – July 4
11. Labor Day – first Monday in September
12. Constitution Day – Sept. 17
13. Columbus Day – second Monday in October
14. Navy Day – Oct. 27
15. Veterans Day – Nov. 11
16. Thanksgiving Day – fourth Thursday in November
17. Christmas Day – Dec. 25

In addition, the U.S. Flag Code encourages citizens to display the United States Flag on certain days that are proclaimed by the President, and on the date when their state was admitted into the union.

Flags should be raised quickly at dawn and ceremoniously lowered at dusk, and should only be displayed after dark if it dramatically lit.  On days when the flag is to be flown at half-staff, it should be raised quickly to the top, held there for a moment and then lowered to half staff.  The same should be repeated when the flag is lowered for the day.

In addition, the U.S. flag should not be displayed in the rain or snow unless the flag is weather-proof.

These are the basic rules for displaying the American flag, but there are many little-known facts which pertain to displaying the flag in public places, on vehicles or in patriotic observances.