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Flag Etiquette Tips
Observing Flag Etiquette
Constituents often ask me about the proper treatment of such an important symbol to our nation. The following questions and answers regarding the United States Flag Code will help you in following proper flag etiquette.
What is the proper of time of day to fly the flag?
It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
Should I take the flag down during a rain storm?
The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
When should the flag be displayed?
The flag should be displayed daily and on all holidays, weather permitting, on or near the main administration buildings of all public institutions. It should also be displayed in or near every polling place on election days and in or near every schoolhouse during school days.
What is the proper way to display the flag?
The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. When displayed against a wall or a window, the blue field should be uppermost and to the left of the observer.
Where should my flag be mounted in relation to the front of my house?
The flag should be displayed in a position of prominence. This usually means to left or right of the front door, or at the center of the house. If you are flying two flags, however, the American flag should always be positioned to the left of the other flag as the viewer approaches the house.
Should I destroy the flag if it touches the ground?
No. The flag should never be dipped toward any person or object, nor should the flag ever touch anything beneath it. However, if your flag does touch the ground, you should immediately correct the situation and clean the flag with a mild soap solution if it has been dirtied.
My flag is really old and is ready to be retired. How should I dispose of it properly?
The Flag Code states that when the condition of a flag is no longer fitting for display that it should be disposed of in the most dignified way possible. Your local VFW chapter, the American Legion, and some Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops offer services to help you properly dispose of your flag.
For more flag etiquette tips, read the CRS report titled, "The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions."