Flag Etiquette


The federal flag code states that the universal custom is to display the U.S. flag from 
sunrise to sunset on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in the open, but when a patriotic effect is desired the flag may be displayed 24-hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. Also, the U.S. flag should not be displayed when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed. 

The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on,

New Year's Day, January 1 
Inauguration Day, January 20 
Lincoln's Birthday, February 12 
Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February 
Easter Sunday (variable) 
Mother's Day, second Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May 
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May 
Flag Day, June 14 
Independence Day, July 4 
Labor Day, first Monday in September
Constitution Day, September 17
Columbus Day, second Monday in October
Navy Day, October 27
Veterans Day, November 11
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day, December 25; and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays. 

Displaying the Flag 

On Same Staff
U.S. flag at peak, above any other flag. 

Grouped
U.S. flag goes to its own right. Flags of other nations are flown at same height.

Marching
U.S. flag to marchers right (observer's left).

On Speaker's Platform
When displayed with a speaker's platform, it must be above and behind the speaker. If mounted on a staff it is on the speaker's right.

Decoration
Never use the flag for decoration. Use bunting with the blue on top, then white, then red.

Salute
All persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. 

Over a Street
Union (stars) face north or east depending on the direction of the street.

Half Staff
An easy way to remember when to fly the United States flag at half-staff is to consider when the whole nation is in mourning. These periods of mourning are proclaimed either by the President of the United States, for national remembrance, or the Governor of a state or territory, for local remembrance, in the event of a death of a member or former member of the federal, state or territorial government or judiciary. The heads of departments and agencies of the federal government may also order that the flag be flown at half-staff on buildings, grounds and naval vessels under their jurisdiction.

On Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’nations battle heroes.

The flag should fly at half-staff for 30 days at all federal buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and its territories and possessions after the death of the President or a former President. It is to fly 10 days at half-staff after the death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives. For an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a member of the Cabinet, a former Vice President, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, or the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives the flag is to be displayed at half-staff from the day of death until interment.

The flag is to be flown at half-staff at all federal buildings, grounds and naval vessels in the Washington, D.C., area on the day and day after the death of a United States Senator, Representative, Territorial Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It should also be flown at half-staff on all federal facilities in the state, congressional district, territory, or commonwealth of these officials.

Upon the death of the Governor of a state, territory or possession, the flag should be flown at half-staff on all federal facilities in that Governor’s state, territory or possession from the day of death until interment.

The President may order the flag to be flown at half-staff to mark the death of other officials, former officials, or foreign dignitaries. In addition to these occasions, the President may order half-staff display of the flag after other tragic events.

The flag should be briskly run up to the top of the staff before being lowered slowly to the half-staff position.