There are many national and lesser-known 2023 flag holidays in the United States. Each of these have their own unique meanings and procedures for how to celebrate, honor, and fly flags. Some of these include half-staff, full-staff, and particular days for flying the POW MIA flag. This may sound complicated, but there are important meanings for each of these flag days that should be followed. We’ve tried to simplify these 2023 special days to fly the flag for you below in chronological order so that you know you are flying your American or other flag the correct way.
(Tip: Save this page so you can refer to it for holidays throughout the year.)
Terms to know:
What is Full staff?
A full-staff is a flagpole on which a flag is displayed at the very top.
What is Half staff?
A half-staff is the position of a flag which is being flown below the top of its staff (or flagpole) as a mark of respect for a person (or persons) who has died. In other words, flying a flag at half staff means to fly it at half the height of the pole.
2023 Flag flying days:
- New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2023 – Full Staff
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 16th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Presidents Day, February 20th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Washington’s Birthday, February 20th, 2023 – Full Staff
- National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day, March 29th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Easter Sunday, April 9th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Fire Fighters Memorial Day, May 4th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Mother’s Day, May 14th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15th, 2023 – Half Mast
- Armed Forces Day, May 21st, 2023 – Full Staff
- Memorial Day, May 29th, 2023 – American flag Half Mast until noon, POW/MIA flag Half-Mast all day
- Flag Day, June 14th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Independence Day, July 4th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Korean War Veterans Day, July 27th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Labor Day, September 4th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Patriot Day (9/11), September 11th, 2023 – Half Mast
- National POW/MIA Recognition Day, September 15th, 2023 – POW/MIA flag Half Staff, American flag Full Staff
- Constitution Day & Citizenship Day, September 17th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Gold Star Mother’s Day, September 24th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Columbus Day, October 9th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Navy Day, October 27th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Veterans Day, November 11th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, 2023 – Full Staff
- Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7th, 2023 – Half Staff
- Christmas Day, December 25th, 2023 – Full Staff
Other Days to fly your flags:
- Army Day, January 15th, 2023 – Full Staff
- National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, April 9th, 2023 – Full Staff
- International Firefighters’ Day, May 4th, 2023 – Full Staff
- National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial Service, May 6th-7th, 2023 – Half Staff
- Victory in Europe (V-E Day), May 8th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Peace Officer’s Memorial Day, May 15th, 2023 – Half Staff
- Remember D-Day, June 6th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Army Birthday, June 14th, 2023 – Full Staff
- National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, June 21st, 2023 – Full Staff
- Coast Guard Day, August 4th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Purple Heart Day, August 7th, 2023 – Full Staff
- National Aviation Day, August 19th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Victory over Japan (V-J Day), September 2nd, 2023 – Full Staff
- Air Force Birthday, September 18th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Navy’s Birthday, October 13th, 2023 – Full Staff
- Marine Corps Day, November 10th, 2023 – Full Staff
- State Birthdays & State Holidays – Full Staff
- All Election Days – Full Staff
New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2023 – Full Staff
January 1st is a big celebration in the United States, complete with cookouts, community, and lots of sparkling fireworks. As Americans welcome in a New Year with friends and family, they also pause to reflect on their blessings over the past year. Take advantage of this flag holiday and show how thankful you are to live in a free country! Fly your American flag at full staff as you wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 16th, 2023 – Full Staff
Each third Monday in January is set aside as a federal holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, MLK was an American Baptist minister and activist for the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s-60s. His desire was to promote the reality that is written in our Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal … they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Sadly, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, but his memory and his work endure to this day. Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. by flying your American flag today at full staff.
Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12th, 2023 – Full Staff
A day to celebrate one of our nation’s greatest presidents, Lincoln’s Birthday is a day set aside every February 12th to honor one of America’s greatest heroes. Born in a humble log cabin in Kentucky, this young boy would go on to become the 16th President of the United States.
As the nation was plunged into Civil War, Lincoln promised to preserve the Union and keep the nation from splitting apart. During the war he made a bold and long-awaited move by signing the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in the States. Sadly, he was only able to enjoy peace for 6 days before he was assassinated, but his wisdom and his servant’s heart for his country live on to this day. Fly your flag at full staff to honor President Abraham Lincoln!
Presidents Day, February 20th, 2023 – Full Staff
Every third Monday in February, Americans set aside a day to honor and remember the many great leaders who have guided our country by fulfilling the Executive branch of our government.
This holiday is also known by the Federal government as Washington’s Birthday, recognizing the significance of the role our first president played directly following the Revolutionary War.
From our Founding Fathers to the present, through numerous wars and conflicts, through times of economic depression and uncertainty, through peace and prosperity, these men have played a critical role in making the United States what it is today. Fly your American flag at full staff in honor of these leaders of our nation.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29th, 2023 – Full Staff
Each year on March 29th, Americans observe this day and recognize the 2.7 million veterans who served in the Vietnam War from November 1, 1955 through April 30, 1975.
March 29th was chosen as the date for the holiday because the last American troops departed from Vietnam and the last Prisoners of War were released on March 29th, 1975. This holiday is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by our veterans and their comrades. Honor them by flying your flag at full staff.
Easter Sunday, April 9th, 2023 – Full Staff
Easter Sunday is a national holiday in the United States that celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ 3 days after his crucifixion at the hands of the Jews and Romans in 30 AD, as recorded in the New Testament in the Bible. This is an important holiday for Evangelical Christians because it provides hope after death for those who trust in Jesus as their Savior.
It occurs every Spring on Sunday, and concludes the Passion Week and Lent. The holiday is typically celebrated with special sunrise services at church, feasting, games, and sometimes gifts. Others celebrate a special Passover Supper which Jesus partook in before He was crucified.
Fly your American flag at full staff on this special occasion, and enjoy the freedom of religion we have in America.
Fire Fighters Memorial Day, May 4th, 2023 – Full Staff
Fire Fighters Memorial Day is a flag holiday to honor, remember, and give national tribute to all firefighters who have died in the line of duty during the previous year. Thousands attend the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Maryland, hosted by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and their sponsors. (Note: this holiday will be moved to May 4th, effective 2023.) Remember our American firefighters and their families by flying the American flag at full staff.
Mother’s Day, May 14th, 2023 – Full Staff
Mother’s Day is an annual celebration in the United States that honors mothers and all that they do in raising the next generation of Americans. It was first created in 1908 my Anna Jarvis who intended the occasion to be a time for honoring the sacrifices individual mothers make for their children. Mother’s Day is observed in many countries across the world, with local communities commemorating parenthood in their own unique ways. Honor your Mom by flying the American flag at full staff!
Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15th, 2023 – Half Mast
Peace Officer’s Memorial Day is a day that Americans set aside to honor and remember their fallen law enforcement officers and their families. The United States employs over half a million law enforcement officers to protect its citizens from harm and allow them to live in peace. May 15th is a day to honor the many men and women who have given their lives in the line duty. Take a moment to say a prayer for the protection of our law enforcement officers, and fly your American flag at half-staff in their honor.
Armed Forces Day, May 21st, 2023 – Full Staff
Armed Forces Day occurs every third Saturday in May, and is set aside to honor American servicemen and women in the 6 branches of the US military: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Space Force. Although it is not a federal holiday, many Americans still take the opportunity to visit special services and celebrations to honor those in the US Armed Forces. Take a minute to thank a service member for their dedication and sacrifice to preserving our freedoms and remember to fly your American flag at full staff on this special occasion!
Memorial Day, May 29th, 2023 – American flag Half Mast until noon, POW/MIA flag Half-Mast all day
Memorial Day is a very special holiday in the United States. It occurs every year on the last Monday of May, and it is a time to honor and remember our fallen American soldiers throughout history. These individuals may not be known to us specifically, but even today we enjoy the privileges they fought to preserve: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. May we never forget their great sacrifice and use this day to honor their memory by flying the American flag.
There are specific instructions for flying your American flag on Memorial Day. On a free-standing flagpole, the flag is flown at half-mast until noon, then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day in honor of our nation’s battle heroes. Note that the POW/MIA flag is flown at half-mast all day.
Remember D-Day, June 6th, 2023 – Full Staff
On June 6th each year, we remember D Day, the day when Allied forces landed on Normandy beach, France, in 1944 to start the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation. More than 150,000 Allied troops landed on Normandy beachhead, along with more than 5,000 vehicles and 70 ships. This anniversary is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many people, and to honor those who fought and died in the effort. Raise your flag to full staff.
Flag Day, June 14th, 2023 – Full Staff
Flag Day 2023 is commemorated on June 14 in the United States. The flag of the United States was adopted by resolution of the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, and it is commemorated on this day. “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue background, indicating a new constellation.” Fly your flag proudly at full staff and show your American patriotism!
Father’s Day, 3rd Sunday in June – Full Staff
Father’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrating Dads, and the role of fathers in society. Sonora Smart Dodd, who originated Father’s Day in the United States, first celebrated it on the third Sunday of June in 1910. Father’s Day is observed on numerous dates across the world, with local areas commemorating parenthood in their own unique ways. Honor your Dad by flying the American flag at full staff!
Independence Day, July 4th, 2023 – Full Staff
Independence Day (also known as July 4th) is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the ratification of the United States Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The Second Continental Congress declared the thirteen American colonies to be unified, free, and independent states, no longer subject (and subordinate) to King George III of the United Kingdom. The Congress had voted two days earlier, on July 2, to proclaim independence, but it was not declared until July 4.
Fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, and ceremonies, as well as a variety of other public and private events celebrating the United States’ history, government, and traditions, are commonly associated with Independence Day. July 4th is also a federal holiday in the United States.
Korean War Veterans Day, July 27th, 2023 – Full Staff
Also known as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, July 27th is an annual flag holiday to remember those Americans who fought in the Korean War. The Korean War Armistice–known as the longest negotiated armistice in history–was signed on July 27th, 1953 at the close of the war.
The current President of the United States issues a proclamation announcing this national day of observance each year. Honor our American Korean War veterans by flying the American flag at full staff!
Labor Day, September 4th, 2023 – Full Staff
Labor Day, which is celebrated on the first Monday in September, honors the contributions and accomplishments of American workers. The labor movement created it in the late 19th century, and it was declared a federal holiday in 1894 after President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. Labor Day Weekend also marks the unofficial end of summer. Honor our American workers by flying the American flag at full staff!
Patriot Day (9/11), September 11th, 2023 – Half Staff
Patriot Day, also known as 9/11, is a day to reflect and remember the horrible terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York City on the same day in 2001. Almost 3,000 Americans lost their lives, including first responders, children, and many others. It is a day to pledge our allegiance, to stand against evil, and to promote together what is right so that such tragedies may not occur again. Remember our fellow American citizens and their families who lost their lives on 9/11 by flying the American flag at half staff.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day, September 15th, 2023 – POW/MIA flag Half Staff, American flag Full Staff
We celebrate POW/MIA Recognition Day because it is a day that we can all come together, remember, and show appreciation for our fallen comrades. It is one way Americans say thank you for their service and keep them in our thoughts and prayers. The POW MIA Recognition Day has been observed annually on the third Friday in September, since the 1998 Defense Authorization Act, in honor of those who have not returned from missing in action or captive status.
Constitution Day & Citizenship Day, September 17th, 2023 – Full Staff
Constitution Day in the United States is celebrated on September 17th every year. This day commemorates the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787. The Constitution is one of the most important documents in American history and it sets out the fundamental principles of government. It is considered to be one of the most successful constitutions in the world and has been influential in other countries too.
Gold Star Mother’s Day, September 24th, 2023 – Full Staff
Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day occurs on the last Sunday in September each year. It is a day set aside to remember the mothers and families of our country who have lost loved ones in combat.
During World War I, it was common practice to place a service flag in the window of the home of a soldier. In the center of this flag would be a star for each member of the house who was serving in the Armed Forces. A blue star on the flag represented an active service member, and a gold star represented one who had lost their life in combat. Remember our American mothers and their families on this special day who have lost loved ones by flying the American flag at full staff.
Columbus Day, October 9th, 2023 – Full Staff
Columbus Day is celebrated as a federal holiday in the USA, and a national holiday in other countries as well. It is a day that celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492.
Christopher Columbus was born in Italy and had a mind for adventure and exploration from the start. He became a subject of the Hispanic Monarchy to lead a Spanish enterprise to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. On his first voyage he sailed with the ships the Santa María, Niña, and La Pinta. After about three months he landed in the Bahamas and later central America. This paved the way for further exploration and the eventual settlement of the United States of America. Remember to fly your American flag at full staff in commemoration of this special day.
Navy Day, October 27th, 2023 – Full Staff
Navy Day is a holiday set aside to recognize the United States Navy. It was first held on October 27th, 1922. This day was chosen because the current president’s birthday, Theodore Roosevelt, who was a large supporter of the US Navy, was on October 26th.
The holiday took a few years to catch on, but was largely celebrated in 1945 at the close of World War II. Honor our United States Navy on this special day by flying the American flag at full staff!
Veterans Day, November 11th, 2023 – Full Staff
Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States and occurs annually on November 11th. It is a day that Americans set aside to honor military veterans of all branches of the United States Armed Forces.
At the end of World War 1, fighting officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. In 1954, this day previously known as Armistice Day, was renamed as Veterans Day. Honor our American veterans on this special day by flying the American flag at full staff!
Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, 2023 – Full Staff
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a day that Americans set aside to give thanks to God for His blessings on both their personal lives and on their nation, the United States.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated in multiple different countries on various dates. In the US, it was first celebrated by the pilgrims in 1619 in Virginia. Later, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the official date in 1863 which we still observe today. Give thanks for the greatest country in the world this Thanksgiving Day by flying the American flag at full staff!
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7th, 2023 – Half Staff
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, also known as Pearl Harbor Day, is an annual holiday held on December 7th to honor and remember the 2,403 Americans who lost their lives in Hawaii in 1941. Pearl Harbor is a military base which the Japanese saw as a threat in World Was 2. This air attack led the United States to declare war on Japan and enter the war.
Today Americans still set aside the day to honor the many people who gave their lives protecting our country. Remember our fellow American soldiers and their families who lost their lives on December 7th by flying the American flag at half staff.
Christmas Day, December 25th, 2023 – Full Staff
Christmas Day is a national holiday in the United States celebrated on December 25th each year. This is many Americans favorite holiday when they enjoy the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, visit family, feast, and surprise each other with presents and many other festive traditions.
Christmas Day is also a flag holiday – the last one of the year. Remember to fly your American flag on this special day at full staff!