Etiquette for The American FlagJules Hirst
In Celebration of Memorial Day just a few days away, it is a good time to remind ourselves about flag etiquette.Â Did you know that the display and handling of the American flag is covered under federal law?Â In fact, it is Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United Sates Code.Â This means you could be cited for improper use of the flag, but it is highly unlikely as the Supreme Court has ruled that the displaying of the flag is protected by the 1st Amendment.
Since Memorial Day is a day to give thanks to service people who have lost their lives for our freedom, the flag should be at half-staff until noon and then raised to full-staff until sunset.
Other rules include:
- The American flag should be taken down before sunset, unless there is proper lighting to keep the flag lit.
- The American flag should not be flown during bad weather unless you have a special flag designed to withstand the weather.
- The American flag should always be higher than those of the states.
- If there is more than one flag on the flagpost, the American flag should always be on top.
- If flags of other nations are flying, they should all be on separate poles and be at equal height.
- The American flag should never touch the ground.
- The American flag should also never be written on or be worn as clothing.Â It should not be used in advertising.
- American flags displayed on vehicles or floats should be on a staff and not draped.
- When discarding a worn American flag, it needs to be destroyed in a dignified manner.Â The best way to accomplish this is by burning it.Â The Boy Scouts conduct flag burning ceremonies.
- The American flag should never be flown upside down unless signaling an emergency.
Following these guidelines will keep your flag displayed properly and will show respect to the memory of those who gave their life for our freedom.