When you visit a United States flag store, like the one at FlagPro.com, it’s easy to just pick out the flags you want and be on your way. But according to this popular flag manufacturer, Americans need to spend time reading the U.S. Flag Code. While this may not be the most interesting reading, it’s easy to pick up on the various rules of etiquette without reading the entire codebook.
The U.S. Flag Code was written to ensure that the American flag would be treated with the utmost respect, which also includes the way in which the flag is disposed and the specific methods used to fly the flag at half-staff.
One United States flag store has made it easy for flag buyers by posting a link to the U.S. Flag Code on their web site, but they found that very few people actually read it. Here are some of the highlights:
The U.S. flag should always be flown with the blue and white “union” area to the viewer’s top left. The flag should never be flown upside down unless the bearer of the flag is in distress, and flying it backward is a sign of disrespect.
In addition, the flag shouldn’t be use for anything other than flying. In other words, it shouldn’t be included in advertisements or within an article of clothing. It should never be used as a placemat or other covering on a desk or podium. The only exception to this rule is when certain government officials, police offers and military service members wear a flag patch on their uniform.
A United States flag store should be well-versed on the U.S. Flag Code and help buyers understand the responsibilities associated with flying the flag. In addition to the various rules of flying the flag, It is important to keep it clean and prevent it from touching the ground. There are also some very specific instructions related to folding the flag, which must be done by two people.
When the American flag is shown next to other flags, it should always be the first flag raised and the last one lowered. When it is flying, it should be on a separate pole whenever possible, or at least it should be flown higher than other flags on the same pole.
Before you buy from a United States flag store, make sure you have an understanding of the U.S. Flag Code.