As a true-blue patriotic American, you will probably love to display the national flag at your home. However, before showing off your pride with the stripes and stars, you should know the rules and guidelines. Congress established the US Code in 1942, setting some regulations to treat the national flag with respect and dignity.

Over the decades, the commitment toward these rules has grown, with countless American homeowners and business owners following them to a T. Not adhering to these rules can quickly transform your act of patriotism into a disrespectful act. As a beginner, you may go wrong unintentionally, but awareness can be a savior. 

We will share the flag-flying etiquette you must know as a patriotic American. 

Understand Correct Orientation

You can display the national flag indoors or outdoors in your home just like government agencies and businesses do. Choosing the right flag is the first step. After selecting the right size, you must pay attention to positioning and orientation.  

Flags Unlimited recommends deciding the place where you want to display the flag to determine the right size. The ideal length should be one-fourth of the length of the pole. When it comes to orientation, the union should be in the upper-left corner whether you display the flag horizontally or vertically. 

When hanging it over a street, ensure positioning the union to the north or east according to the street’s direction. Never display the flag upside down unless it signals distress.  

Ensure Proper Illumination

According to the traditional guidelines, you should display the Stars and Stripes only during daylight hours, from sunrise to sunset. However, you can keep it flying high even after dark by ensuring proper illumination. It should be visible and recognizable at night. If you cannot arrange good illumination, you must lower the flag and fold it until daylight.

Displaying the flag during nighttime without proper illumination shows a lack of respect, no matter how patriotic you are. Another thing to remember is to avoid displaying the American flag outdoors when the forecast predicts inclement weather. However, you can keep it flying high even when it rains if you have one made of an all-weather material.

Know When to Fly Your Flag in Half-Staff

No matter how much you love the American flag, a lack of awareness is not a valid excuse for disrespecting it. Likewise, the way it flies has a distinct meaning. For example, a flag flying at half-staff indicates that the nation is mourning the death of a government official. Alternatively, it is also done on Memorial Day from sunrise to noon. 

You also need to follow specific steps when flying the flag at half-staff. Begin by hoisting it to the peak, followed by lowering it to the half-staff position. Before lowering it for the day, you should raise it to the peak again. Although you may find the steps complicated, following the protocol is essential to respect the American flag. 

Keep It Above All Other Flags

You may want to display the American flag with other flags, such as that of your favorite soccer team or sports club. As you do it, ensure keeping the national flag above all others because it deserves a position of honor.

Besides hoisting it above the rest, ensure it is the largest in size and at the center to maximize its visibility. Such an arrangement demonstrates solidarity, respect, and patriotism for the country and its flag.

Prioritize Good Maintenance

Outdoor flags are exposed to the elements even when the weather is pleasant and the sun shines bright. Even indoor displays tend to lose their luster over time due to exposure to harsh lights. Good maintenance is essential, specifically if the weather is unpredictable in your area. Don’t wait for the rain and snow to damage the national treasure, and bring it in when you need to.

If you need to wash the flag, adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. Besides good maintenance, commit to timely replacement when the flag gets dirty, damaged, or tattered. As a proud American, you should ensure flying one in pristine condition, with the stripes and union as vibrant as new. 

When you invest in a new flag, dispose of the old one respectfully. Never throw it in the garbage. You can bury it or put it in a disposal box at your state or county government office.

Closing Thoughts

There isn’t a better way to showcase your patriotic pride than bringing home the national flag and displaying it where everyone can see it. Ensure doing it the right way to show your respect and love for the country. This checklist will keep you on the right side of the rules and guidelines for displaying the American flag. 

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