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6 Rules to Follow When Displaying the American Flag

Are you planning to display the American flag? As a symbol of freedom and independence, there are certain rules you should follow. The U.S. Flag Code has laid out a list of guidelines on how to properly display the American flag in a respectful manner. Below are six important rules to follow when displaying the American flag.

#1) Union With Union on Left

Always display the American flag with the union on the left. The union, of course, is the blue-colored field featuring 50 white stars. Whether you’re displaying the American flag horizontally or vertically against a wall, you should position it so that the union on the observer’s left.

#2) Keep Off the Ground or Floor

Remember to keep the American flag off the ground or floor. According to the U.S. Flag Code, the American flag should never touch anything beneath it. You can display the American flag either on a pole or on a wall. When displayed indoors, many people simply hang it on a wall. Regardless, you should keep the American flag off the ground or floor at all times.

#3) Avoid Displaying on the Ceiling

You can hang the American flag on a wall, but you shouldn’t display it on the ceiling. The U.S. Flag Code specifically states that the American flag should never be displayed as a “covering for a ceiling.”

#4) Don’t Forget Flag Holiday

While you can display the American flag all 365 days a year, there are some days when it’s particularly important to display the American flag. Known as flag holidays, they include annual holidays and the birthdates of important figures. Common examples of flag holidays include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, George Washington’s birthday, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

#5) Take Down During Bad Weather

When displaying the American flag outdoors, you should consider taking it down during bad weather. There’s a section in the U.S. Flag Code that explicitly says the American flag should not be displayed when weather is inclement. The only exception is if you have an all-weather flag. All-weather flags are those made of a weather-resistant material, such as polyester. They can withstand rain, wind and sunlight without degrading.

#6) Illuminate at Night

Another rule to follow when displaying the American flag is to illuminate it at night. If not illuminated, you should remove it at night. According to the U.S. Flag Code, the American flag should only be displayed outdoors at night when illuminated, thus creating a patriotic effect.

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