Flag Ettiquette

If you’ll be handling the U.S. flag during a prestigious ceremony soon or want to display the flag at your place of business, there are a few things you should know when it comes to etiquette.

When you display the flag on a flagstaff, it should be in clear view from sunrise to sunset and the flagstaff should be stationary. If you want to be especially patriotic during a national holiday, you can display the flag 24 hours a day, as long as the flag is illuminated well. If the flag is display on a lanyard or single staff, the U.S. flag should fly higher than the other flags. On special days, the flag is flown half-staff, and on Memorial Day, the flag is flown half-staff until 12 p.m., and then it is raised to its normal position.

If you’re using the U.S. flag during a parade and there are other flags, the U.S. flag should be to the left of the observers. When using the flag on a podium, the flag should always be to the right of the speaker or main stage area. If there are other flags displayed, they should be on the left. When carrying the flag during a parade, be sure not to let it touch the ground.

Finally, don’t forget to keep these rules of etiquette in mind when saluting the flag. All individuals in uniform, including firefighters and police, should exhibit the military salute. Members of the military and veterans who aren’t in uniform can also salute the flag military-style. Civilians should face the flag, standing at attention, with their right hands over their hearts. Individuals who are wearing a hat or headdress should remove it with the right hand, so that the item falls over the left shoulder while the right hand is on the heart.