What Are the Rules of American Flag Etiquette?

American Flag

Do you know the rules of American flag etiquette? There are rules dictating flying at half-staff, when to fly the flag, carrying the flag, folding the flag, and displaying with other flags. I do realize the rules of etiquette for an American flag may seem complicated, but they are quite simple to follow.

Flying at Half-Staff

“Half-staff” means the position of the American flag is halfway between the top and bottom of the staff. Flag etiquette dictates the flag to be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day until noon, then raise it back to the top, Patriot Day (September 11), Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7), and death of a government official.

When to Fly the American Flag

There are several designated dates to fly an American flag throughout the year. The most noted are Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day. In addition, to specific days of the year is time of day constraints. For flags that are stationary on a building or a flagpole it is customary to fly them from sunrise to sunset. American flags can be flown at night provided it is properly illuminated. This means the flag must have its own dedicated spotlight and then it can be flown twenty-hours per day if desired.

Now that you know the rules of flag etiquette go ahead and proudly display your American patri

Carrying the American Flag

The American Flag should never be carried flat. An exception to this rule is if it is draped over a casket a funeral. Unless the flag is folded, it is to be carried on a hand held staff to displayed flying freely. Do not allow the American flag to touch the ground or any other object below it.

Folding the American Flag

Since the American flag should not be carried flat, folding it may be necessary for transportation, storage or display. In addition to the flag being folded by civilians, it is a procedure performed by members of the Armed Forces. Members of the Armed Forces fold the American flag after it is lifted from the casket at a military funeral. It is then presented to the next of kin. There are not specifics as how to the flag should be folded, but a standard American flag will require thirteen folds. To be more specific there should be two lengthwise folds and eleven triangular folds.

Displaying American Flag with Other Flags

American flags must be placed in a position of prominence over all other flags since it represents the government and in America, the government is the highest authority. In most cases, the American flag is displayed above church flags. It should be larger or equivalent to the size of other flags on the pole or staff. The American Flag should be hoisted first and lowered last when flown with other flags.

Don’t forget the rules of flag etiquette and show the world you’re proud to be an American!