You should display the flag every day from sunrise to sunset, weather permitting. If you would like to display your flag at night, it must be illuminated. We have a great selection of solar lights that mount on top of the pole to ensure illumination. Be sure to display the flag on national holidays and these days of importance:
Third Monday in January
January 20 (every 4 years)
Third Monday in February
Second Sunday in May
May 15 *half-staff all day*
Third Saturday in May
Last Monday in May *half-staff until noon*
Third Sunday in June
Second Monday in August
First Monday in September
September 11 *half-staff all day*
Second Monday in October
Tuesday after first Monday in November
Fourth Thursday in November
December 7 *half-staff all day*
How to Display the U.S. Flag
On a Pole With Another Flag
When the flag on the same pole as should a organization, state or city flag, the U.S. flag is 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, like this:
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 an Auditorium or Church Setting
When the U.S. flag is displayed on a staff situated on a platform or stage with a speaker, the flag should be to the speaker's right. If it is displayed flat, it should be positioned above and behind the speaker. This is useful for church services, graduations, inaugerations or other special events. Be sure that the flag is correctly oriented.
At Half-Staff or Half-Mast
"Half staff" is half the distance from the top to 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 you have more than one flag 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.
When a flag is flown at half-staff, it should be raised to the peak for an instant, then lowered to half-staff. When retiring the flag at the end of the day, this procedure should be repeated. Again raise the flag to the top, then lower completely.
If your flag cannot be flown half-staff, as with an outrigger flagpole or wall-mounted pole, 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. Tuck the remaining hoist portion into the folded part to secure the bundle.
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 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 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.
How to Dispose of the U.S. Flag
Outdoor U.S. Flags 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, the blue field, of the U.S. flag leaving only the stripes left or separating all the individual red and white stripes on the U.S. flag, creating individual strips for each color.
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.