American flag

American Flag Etiquette

by Shea Homes Arizona on July 5, 2013

FlagProper American flag etiquette applies not just on our patriotic holidays, but year-round! There are many hidden rules and laws about how the flag should be treated on certain occasions and under certain circumstances. But not to worry; we have all the do’s and don’ts on how your American flag should be respected when you display it at your home or workplace! 

Time and Occasions for Display

  • The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source at night.
  • The flag should be flown in fair weather unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
  • The flag should be displayed every day.
  • The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
  • The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.
  • The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
  • The flag should be displayed during school days and in or near a schoolhouse.

Position and Manner of Display

  • The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff.
  • The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle, a railroad train or a boat. It must be fixed on a staff.
  • No other flag or pennant should be placed above the American flag. If on the same level, the other flag or pennant must be displayed to the right of the flag.
  • The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or are grouped and displayed from staffs.
  • When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height.
  • When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.
  • When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
  • The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
  • When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground. 

Respect for Flag

  • The flag should never be used as apparel, bedding or drapery.
  • The flag should never be displayed upside down….except as a distress signal!
  • 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.
  • The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.Flag2
  • The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
  • The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
  • 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.
  • The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner.
  • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.
  • 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.

Most importantly, when putting up an American flag, always keep in mind:

The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.

Happy Independence Day weekend from Shea Homes Arizona to you!

Note: At Shea Homes, we proudly display the American Flag at our many sales offices across the Valley. We do our best to comply with all state and federal guidelines and mandates. Due to the height of the flag poles and size of the American flags in our communities, they are not safe for our sales and construction staff to maintain. In most instances, we must employ a flag company with trained technicians and proper equipment to handle replacements, raising and lowering, as well as proper night lighting.