Can I Display the American Flag on My Vehicle?

Are you thinking about displaying the American flag? While most people choose to display the Stars and Stripes in front of their home, some prefer to display it on their vehicle. Whether you drive a car, truck or SUV, you can display the American flag on it. The U.S. Flag Code — a piece of federal legislation governing the display, care and retirement of the American flag — even includes a section about displaying the American flag on a vehicle. While the U.S. Flag Code doesn’t prohibit Americans from displaying the flag on their vehicle, it does specify a few rules to follow.

Don’t Drape From Your Vehicle’s Hood, Back, Top or Sides

If you’re going to display the American flag on your vehicle, avoid draping it from your vehicle’s hood, back, top or sides. It’s certainly easy, as well as convenient, to lay the American flat across a vehicle, but this isn’t proper etiquette. The U.S. Flag Code specifically says that the American flag should not be draped on a vehicle’s hood, back, top or sides.

Mount a Pole to Your Vehicle’s Chassis

Rather than draping the American flag on your vehicle, you should display it on a mounted pole. According to the U.S. Flag Code, the proper way to display the American flag on a vehicle is to use a mounted pole, also known as a flagstaff, located in the middle of the chassis or right fender. Why the right fender exactly? Well, when you drive forward, the American flag will drape backwards naturally in the wind to create a patriotic effect.

Raise Flag to the Top of the Flagpole

It’s also important to raise the American flag to the top of the flagpole. Unless it’s a holiday or day of remembrance that’s commonly associated with half-staff flag flying, the American flag should be displayed at the very top of the flagpole. Also known as half-mast, flying the flag at half-staff is reserved for special occasions, typically those involving honoring and remembering an important person or figure.

Don’t Display Other Flags Higher Than the American Flag

You aren’t restricted to only displaying the American flag on your vehicle. You can display other flags in conjunction with it. When displaying multiple flags on your vehicle, though, make sure the American flag is the highest. No other flag should be higher than the American flag.

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