July 4th is recognized as an official flag holiday by the U.S. Flag Code, meaning it’s particularly important to display the American flag on this day. You can still display the American flag on other days of the year, but you should make a point to proudly display it on July 4th as well as other official flag holidays. When doing so, however, you should follow a few basic steps to ensure that you proudly honor the American flag and everything for which it stands.
Display From Sunrise to Sunset
Don’t wait until the afternoon or evening on July 4th to raise your American flag. The U.S. Flag Code, which was drafted in the early 1920s and still used today, states that the American flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset. Assuming you live on the East Coast, sunrise should occur around 6:30 a.m., while sunset occurs around 8:50 p.m.
Take Down During Bad Weather
Hopefully, this doesn’t happen during your July 4th celebrations, but if there’s a severe storm rolling through, you should take down your American flag. Displaying the American flag in bad weather is never a good idea. Even if premium, well-made flags can sustain damage when exposed to severe wind and rain.
Don’t Wear Clothing Featuring the American Flag
If you’re going to wear festive clothing this July 4th, make sure it doesn’t feature the American flag. While wearing a t-shirt of the American flag may sound patriotic, it’s actually a violation of the U.S. Flag Code. The only exception is military uniforms, in which case an American flag patch can be worn. For traditional apparel like t-shirts, pants, jackets and hats, though, you shouldn’t wear clothing or accessories that feature the American flag.
Display in the Air
You should display your American flag in the air so that no part of it touches the ground or objects below. If your American flag touches the ground, it will likely accumulate dirt and debris. Furthermore, the U.S. Flag Code specifically says that the American flag should not touch anything below it.
Place Hand Over Heart While Raising and Lowering
When raising and lowering your American flag this July 4th, place your hand over your heart. This is a common ceremonial practice that’s intended to honor and respect the American flag.
By following these tips, you can proudly display the American flag this July 4th while honoring and respecting everything for which it stands.