- U.S. Flag Calendar
It is proper to display the U.S. flag from sunrise to sunset on all days the weather permits. The flag may also be displayed at night if illuminated by a light. It is even more important to display the flag on national holidays and days of importance, including:
Days of Importance to Display the U.S. Flag
Holiday/Day of Honor 2014 New Years Day January 1 Martin Luther King Day Third Monday in January Inauguration Day January 20 Lincoln's Birthday February 12 President's Day Third Monday in February Easter Sunday April 20 Mother's Day Second Sunday in May Peace Officers Memorial Day (half-staff) May 15 Armed Forces Day Third Saturday in May Memorial Day (half-staff until noon) Last Monday in May Flag Day and Army Day June 14 Father's Day Third Sunday in June Independence Day July 4 Labor Day First Monday in September Patriot Day (half-staff) September 11 Constitution Day and Air Force Day September 17 Gold Star Mothers' Day Last Sunday in September Columbus Day Second Monday in October Navy Day October 27 Marine Corps Day November 10 Veteran's Day November 11 Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November Pearl Harbor Remembrance day (half-staff) December 7 Christmas Day December 25
- On December 18, 2001 President Bush signed Public Law No. 107-89 designating Patriot Day as September 11 to honor the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks. People of the United States are also asked to observe a moment of silence on that day in remembrance of the victims.
- In accordance with a Presidential Proclamation dated December 6, 2002 and Public Law 103-308 as amended by Congress.
Calendar provided by NIFDA.
- Displaying the Flag
On a Pole With Another Flag
When flying your organization, state or city flag from the same pole as the U.S. flag, Old Glory should always be at the top of the pole, in a position of honor.
Against a Wall or in a Window
When displayed either horizontally or vertically, the union or blue field, should be to the observer's left.
With the Flags of Other Nations
Each flag should be the same size and displayed at the same height. It is inappropriate to display one country's flag above another.
From a Staff Adjacent to Others
The U.S. flag should be placed in a position of honor, which is the extreme left, as the flags are most frequently viewed.
In a Church or Auditorium
When the U.S. flag is displayed on a staff situated on a platform with a speaker, it should be to the speaker's right. If it is displayed flat, it should be positioned above and behind the speaker.
At Half-Staff or Half-Mast
Half staff is defined as half the distance from the top to the bottom of a flagpole. If flying a single flag, the center point of the U.S. flag should be aligned with the center point of the flagpole. If more than one flag is displayed, measure the length from the top of the first flag to the bottom of the last. Then align the center point of the flag group with the center point of the pole.
Flying a Flag Half-Staff
Half-staff is defined as half the distance from the top of a flagpole to the bottom. If flying a single flag, the center point of the US flag should be aligned with the center point of the pole.
When a flag is flown at half-staff, it should be raised to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. When retiring the flag at the end of the day, this procedure should be repeated.
If your flag is on an outrigger flagpole or mounted on a wall and cannot be flown at half-staff, it is appropriate to tie a black mourning ribbon above the flag.
- Folding your Flag
When Old Glory is not flying, it is proper etiquette to fold it in the following way. Please keep in mind that a flag should not touch the ground while being folded, nor should it be stored long-term in a folded condition. This ceremony is most easily performed with two people using a table if necessary.
- 1. Begin folding the flag lengthwise by bringing the lower edge flush horizontally with the upper edge. For larger flags, this may require two people.
- 2. Fold the flag lengthwise again by bringing the central fold flush horizontally with the upper edge.
- 3. The person at the fly end should then form a triangle by making the lower corner of the flag touch the upper edge.
- 4. The outer point should then be folded towards the hoist end.
- 5. Fold the upper corner to the lower edge. Continue this process until the hoist end is reached.
- 6. Tuck the remaining hoist portion into the folded part to secure the bundle.
- 7. Your flag should look like this.
What is the meaning behind each fold?
According the American Legion, the flag folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our great nation was originally founded. While the recitation of words is not required at a military burial, families may request it accompanies the ceremony.
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our Country”, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country right or wrong.
The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.
The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for defense of our country since they were first born.
The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews’ eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians’ eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation’s motto, “In God We Trust.”
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.
Our outdoor U.S. Flags, like any other fabric product, begin to display faded colors and weatherworn edges as a result of regular use. Once a replacement U.S. Flag with new vibrant colors and sharp edges is flying proudly, proper retirement and disposal of the worn U.S. Flag is an American responsibility. Ceremonial retirement of a U.S. Flag includes steps such as:
- Removing the union, which is the blue field of the U.S. flag containing the stars, leaving only the stars and stripes left.
- Separating all the individual red and white stripes on the U.S. flag, creating individual strips for each color.
- An official burning of the U.S. flag, which can be done through the American Legion, VFW posts and even some Boy Scout Troops perform the ceremonies.
Due to obvious safety hazards that can arise from having an open fire, Carrot-Top Industries recommends speaking with your local Veteran’s Organization or Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America for future flag disposal ceremonies they have scheduled. Also, you can always return your worn U.S. flags to Carrot-Top Industries care of U.S. Flag Retirement and we will properly see to the retirement.
Portion of the U.S. Flag Code – See “k” under Section 176: Respect for the flag
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.A. The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
B. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
C. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
D. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
E. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
F. The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
G. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
H. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
I. The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkin or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
J. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
K. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.