Here you are ready to show your patriotism to your country by displaying the U.S. flag at your house. You excitedly went to get your flag, but you suddenly stop when you realized you don’t know how to properly fly the flag. What to do? Simply read the tips below in hanging your flag free and proud:
- Inspect your flag. Before hanging your flag, make sure that it is still in good condition. See to it that your flag is clean and it doesn’t have any holes or tears. If your flag has only a couple of dirty spots or so, you can remove it by cleaning it by hand. However, if your whole flag is soiled, you can try cleaning it alone in the washing machine using a gentle cycle. If your flag has tears or dirt that can’t be removed by washing, you should replace your flag with a new one. Displaying a soiled or tattered flag shows you don’t have a lot of respect for the flag. Contact your local American Legion Hall for advice on the proper disposal of the U.S. flag.
- Position your flag correctly. Whether you’re displaying the U.S. flag on a pole or a window, make sure that the union is at the top and located at your left side when you’re facing the flag. The union is the blue box with the stars. Flying the flag upside down signals distress. Position your flag correctly if you don’t want people coming to your house to inquire what’s wrong.
- Raise your flag briskly and lower it slowly. Show your enthusiasm in hanging the U.S. flag by raising it briskly to the top of the pole at sunrise. When displaying the flag half-mast, raise it quickly to the top of the pole first, before sliding it down slowly to half-staff. At sunset, lower the flag slowly down the pole to show your respect to the flag. Make sure to hold the flag as it nears the bottom of the pole so that it doesn’t touch the ground.
- Illuminate the flag at night. The U.S. flag is usually raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset. However, you can choose to display it at night if you have a spotlight at home that can lighten up the flag.
- Display the flag only during good weather. Don’t hang the flag during rainy, stormy, snowy, or very windy days. Quickly remove the flag from where it is hanging from if the weather turns bad.
- Position the U.S. flag correctly among other flags. If you’re using a single pole to display a group of flags, place the U.S. flag at the top of the pole. Otherwise, place the U.S. flag at the rightmost side of a group of flags, or at the center of the flags, with the U.S. flag slightly raised. The rule, however, is different if you’re displaying the U.S. flag along with flags of other nations. To show the equality of all nations, the U.S. flag should be of the same size and height as that of the flags of other nations.
Now that you know how to properly fly the U.S. flag, you can now go out
and display Old Glory. If you still have questions on correctly handling
the U.S. flag, you can contact your local American Legion Hall for
answers and clarifications. You can also ask a Boy or Girl Scout in your
neighborhood for information.