Don’t Forget to Illuminate the American Flag When Displaying at Night

Millions of patriotic Americans display the American flag in front of their homes and businesses. Consisting of 50 stars and 13 stripes, the American flag symbolizes our nation’s values. If you’re planning to display the American flag at night, however, you should illuminate it with an exterior light.

Improves Visibility

Without illumination, no one will be able to see your American flag during the nighttime hours. When the sun goes down, your American flag will fade from visibility. As a result, it’s recommended that you illuminate the American flag when displaying it at night. You can turn off the light during the day, but when the sun goes down, you should use some form of exterior lighting to illuminate your American flag. Otherwise, no one will be able to see it.

Complies With the US Flag Code

You might be surprised to learn that the U.S. Flag Code discourages homeowners and business owners from displaying the American flag at night. According to the U.S. Flag Code, the American flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset. An exception, however, is when a patriotic effect is desired, in which case the American flag can be displayed at night, assuming it’s properly illuminated with a light.

When a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness,” says the U.S. Flag Code. While the federal government won’t arrest you for displaying a non-illuminated American flag at night, it’s still customary to comply with this federal law. The U.S. Flag Code contains guidelines on how to display, store, handle and retire the American flag. By following these guidelines, you can rest assured knowing that you are honoring and respecting the American flag and everything for which it stands.

How to Illuminate the American Flag at Night

To ensure people can see your American flag, as well as to comply with U.S. Flag Code, you should install a light outside your home or business and project it towards your American flag. A small exterior flood light should provide ample illumination that highlights and emphasizes your American flag. Just remember to turn it off during the day to save energy. When the sun is out, there’s no need to illuminate the American flag. During the nighttime hours, however, the U.S. Flag Code recommends the use of lighting for a patriotic effect.

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