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Can the American Flag Be Displayed Vertically?

The American flag is typically displayed horizontally atop a flagpole. Whether it’s in front of a home, business or elsewhere, most people choose to display the American flag by securing it to a flagpole. If you want to display the American flag indoors, however, you won’t be able to use a flagpole. As a result, you might be wondering whether it’s acceptable to display the American flag vertically against a wall.

What the U.S. Flag Code Says About Displaying the American Flag Vertically

If you read through the U.S. Flag Code — the federal legislation governing the display and use of the American flag — you’ll see several rules on how to properly display and carry the American flag. The U.S. Flag Code includes a section about carrying the American flag. According to the federal legislation, the American flag should always be carried “free and aloft” and never “flat or horizontally.” It also includes a section stating that the American flag can be displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall.

Yes, You Can Display the American Flag Vertically

Because it’s allowed in the U.S. Flag Code, you are free to display the American flag vertically. Even the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs says it’s perfectly fine to display the American flag vertically against a wall. Neither the U.S. Flag Code nor any other legislation prohibits or restricts people from displaying the American flag vertically. On the contrary, when a flagpole isn’t available, displaying the American flag vertically against a wall offers a simple and effective alternative.

How to Display the American Flag Vertically

If you’re going to display the American flag vertically against a wall, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, the American flag shouldn’t touch the ground or anything else below it. Rather, it should be displayed in a manner that allows it to hang freely without directly touching anything below it.

Second, you should display the American flag vertically so that the union — the blue box with the stars — is visible to your left. In other words, the stars should be in the upper-left corner from your perspective. If the stars are visible on the upper-right corner, you need to flip the American flag so that it’s reversed.

You can display the American flag either horizontally or vertically against a wall. When using the latter technique, though, remember to position the American flag so that the union is in the upper-left corner from your perspective.

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