If there’s one thing you’ll learn about me it’s that I’m a flag etiquette freak. There’s just something about seeing a flag flying properly that gives me a chill. When it’s done incorrectly…well let’s just say I get up in arms. Maybe it’s because my dad raised me around Boy Scouts or that I have quite a few military veterans in my family. Whatever the reason let me share some etiquette with you.
- Never fly a flag at night without a light shining on it.
- Flying a flag upside down is an international sign of distress. If you do this you’re asking for the U.N. to send in troops.
- You fly a flag at half-mast after a national tragedy of when a political figure has passed. To properly fly it you must raise the flag to the top of the flagpole then lower it to half.
- No other flag flies equal to the American flag. State, group or company flags must fly at a lower level.
- No part of an American flag should be used as adornment. This is why when you see red, white and blue bunting although it is similar to a flag it is not identical.
- Flags on a wall should be on the wall toward Washington D.C. so most flags are posted to the east wall accept a few in the south and north along the Eastern seaboard.
- When carried the U.S. flag does not bow to anyone, even a U.S. President. This caused great disrespect during the 1988 Olympics to the host country, but a rule’s a rule.
- No flag in disrepair should be flown. There is a ceremony where it can be properly interred in a fire where all parts are destroyed. The metal grommets, what you raise the flag by, must then be buried or given to the persons in charge of the ceremony as a sign of a job well done.
- During the raising and lowering of a flag there should be silence. All but religious headwear should be removed and you should be standing if able.
10. A flag should never be marked with any additional insignia, letter, word, number, figure or drawing.
Don’t just remember these rules on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day and The Fourth of July; remember then whenever you see a flag flying. It took a lot of sacrifice for all those stars to be put on there. It’s a symbol of freedom of thought and the ability to be whatever you dream.