Flag Etiquette

The American flag is an essential component of American patriotism. The bright red, white and blue stars and stripes fly freely in front of most businesses in the United States of America and several homes as a beautiful reminder of the sacrifices military men and women have made for freedom within the US.

In some cases, the American flag is flown with state flags, military flags and sometimes flags from other nations.  Often Americans are filled with excitement and mistakenly neglect flag flying rules. Here are simple rules to follow when proudly showcasing your love for your country.

  1. Do not display in inclement weather.
  2. Only display between sunrise and sunset unless illuminated in the darkness.
  3. Hoist briskly and lower ceremoniously, or slowly.
  4. The stars should remain visible on the upper left side.
  5. Never let the flag touch the ground.
  6. Just before lowering to half-staff, hoist to its peak.
  7. When displayed with other flags, place the American flag to the right. It should fly on the viewers’ left.
  8. When flying multiple flags on the same stand, the American flag should remain on top of others.
  9. If flying flags from other nations, each flag should have a separate staff at equal height. Each banner should be around the same size.
  10. Do not fly upside down unless there is an emergency.
  11. Allow it to fly freely. Do not fasten or tie it back.
  12. Damaged flags should not be flown but destroyed by burning.



You may notice when the position of a flag is flown below the top of its staff. This is called a half-staff. Flying a flag at half-staff is a sign of respect for a person or persons who have died. When it is flown at half-staff, state, military, and other flags should be lowered or removed until the American flag is raised.  President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed proper times to fly at half-staff on March 1, 1954.  The President issues proclamations when it is necessary to lower to half-staff outside of previously scheduled dates. The following holidays are when you should fly your flag at half-staff.

  1. Peace Officer’s Memorial Day – May 15
  2. Memorial Day – May 27 (Fly at half-staff from sunrise to noon)
  3. Patriot Day – September 11
  4. National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service – October 6
  5. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – December 7

Heartland Flags carries American, military, state and other decorative flags to adorn your home and welcome visitors. Feel free to search through our many selections and contact us if you have any questions.

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