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Rules of the American Flag

Displaying an American flag is a wonderful way to demonstrate off your love for our nation. Having said that, your act of patriotism can speedily turn out to be (unintentionally) disrespectful if you’re unaware of an crucial set of regulations. The U.S. Flag Code, proven by Congress in 1942, gives recommendations for managing this nationwide symbol with dignity.

You can fly the American flag on all times, but the Flag Code particularly endorses exhibiting it on Independence Day, as nicely as other major vacations like Flag Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.

Acquire be aware: Memorial Day has its very own flag etiquette. The American flag really should be flown at 50 percent-mast from dawn until finally noon, then raised to whole mast for the relaxation of the holiday break.

Brush up on the relaxation of your flag etiquette forward of Memorial Day weekend by understanding how to fly the Stars and Stripes the appropriate way.

You will find a appropriate and a improper way to hang the flag vertically.

Don’t hang your flag backwards, upside down, or in yet another inappropriate style. If you’re hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or in opposition to a wall), the Union part with the stars really should go on the observer’s remaining. By no means dip the flag to any person or anything at all.

american flag on wooden house by wet road

Marco Rigon / EyeEmGetty Pictures

Stay clear of allowing the flag touch the floor.

Protect against your flag from touching the floor, floor, or h2o. It’s not vital to dispose of your flag if it accidentally hits the pavement, but you really should make confident that it really is in great ailment before exhibiting it once more.

Know the variance amongst 50 percent-team and 50 percent-mast.

There is a variance amongst 50 percent-team and 50 percent-mast, even nevertheless they are typically applied interchangeably. “Half-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, while “50 percent-team” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on 50 percent-team at the appropriate occasions.

The flag is flown at 50 percent-team when the country is in mourning, such as for the death of govt official or for remembrance, as nicely as from dawn to noon on Memorial Day. When flying the flag at 50 percent-team, initial hoist it to the peak for an instant and then decreased to the 50 percent-team position.

Half-team is outlined as one-50 percent the length amongst the major and base of the flagpole. The flag really should be once more raised to the peak before it is decreased for the working day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

liveslowGetty Pictures

Only fly a flag at night time if it is illuminated.

Tailor made dictates that you really should display flags only from dawn to sunset, but you can keep the stars and stripes flying 24 hours a working day if it is effectively illuminated all through the hours of darkness.

Don’t fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast phone calls for inclement weather conditions, you’re not supposed to display the flag — besides if it really is an all-weather conditions flag. Having said that, most flags these working day are built of all-weather conditions, non-absorbent materials like nylon, the American Legion states.

Normally fly the American flag above other flags.

That involves point out and metropolis flags. If they have to be at the exact level (i.e., you’re hanging them vertically from a property or porch), place the American flag on the remaining. Normally hoist the American flag initial and decreased it previous.

Only fly a flag in great ailment.

No make any difference how nicely you just take care of Outdated Glory, at times age just wears down a flag. Newer flags built with synthetic materials can be machine washed in cold h2o with a moderate detergent, and hung to dry.

Older, additional fragile flags really should be hand washed using Woolite or a equivalent solution. Smaller tears can be repaired by hand, so lengthy as the mends usually are not overtly noticeable when the flag is displayed. Flags that are extremely worn, torn, or light really should be effectively disposed of.

Dispose of an outdated flag in a respectful fashion.

The Federal Flag Code states that unserviceable flags really should be burned in a respectful, ceremonial fashion, but do so discreetly so men and women don’t misinterpret your intentions. If it is illegal to melt away synthetic materials in your point out or you truly feel unpleasant undertaking so, call your regional American Legion post to come across out if they have flag disposal ceremonies, which typically come about on Flag Day, June 14. Local Scout troops are yet another source for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful way.

Fold your flag before storing it.

The American flag is customarily folded in a distinct arrangement, but we assurance it really is a lot easier than folding a equipped sheet. When you have to retailer your flag, seize yet another person to assist you. Start off by holding it parallel to the floor with yet another person, and fold the decreased stripes lengthwise about the Union, retaining the edges of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise once more, retaining the blue Union on the exterior.

how to fold an american flag

Betsy Farrell

Now make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open edge of the flag, and then flip the outer stage parallel to the open edge to make a 2nd triangle. Go on making triangular folds until finally the entire flag is folded into one triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip apparel and objects with flags on them.

While this section of the Flag Code is hardly ever noticed, the recommendations recommend in opposition to using the flag on apparel, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, other décor, and temporary-use items like paper napkins and boxes. It does permit flag pins worn about the remaining lapel and flags on navy and initial responder uniforms.

Having said that, the Supreme Court docket dominated in 1984 in the case Texas v. Johnson that the govt are unable to implement flag-security rules, so you won’t get arrested for carrying an American flag T-shirt. Do whatsoever feels most respectful and ideal to you.

Stay clear of these common flag faults, way too.

Besides carrying flag-lined apparel, there are a couple other Flag Code violations that you can easily avoid. Most of these problem flag placement — a flag really should by no means touch anything at all beneath it while it really is flying, it really should by no means been applied as covering for a ceiling, and you really should by no means location anything at all on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, style, photo, or drawing of any nature”).

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