Displaying The US Flag: Are You Doing It Right?

January 30, 2019 2 min read

According to the United States Flag Code, our flag is the ultimate symbol of a living country therefore the flag itself should be treated as if it is a living being. There are strict rules as to how and when the flag should be displayed and looked after.

The Flag Code outlines the following:

  • The flag should be raised briskly but lowered gently.
  • The flag is never allowed to touch floor or ground as it is disrespectful.
  • The flag should not be flown in bad weather conditions unless it’s made of resistant material.
  • Flags can only be flown from dawn to dusk; the only time a flag is permitted to fly at night is when it’s lit up.
  • The flag should only be used for the purpose of flying (not carrying, storing, delivering, etc.)
  • The flag should only be displayed upside down to indicate an emergency.


  • When flags are displayed over the sidewalk using a rope extension, the stars representing the 50 states should always be displayed away from the building.
  • When the flag is displayed on a street that goes from east to west, the stars should face the north.
  • When the flag is displayed on a street that goes from north to south, the stars should face the east.
  • If the US flag is displayed alongside other non-national flags, it should be positioned in the middle, higher than the other flags in the group.
  • When the flag is being flown alongside flags of other nations, all the flags should be of the same size and height.
  • When the flag is used to cover a casket, the stars should be positioned above the head and on the left side shoulder. The flag should never be lowered in the grave and/or touch the ground.
  • When a flag is displayed on a podium, it should always be positioned above and behind the presenter, or to their right as they address the audience.
  • When the flag is displayed against the wall (vertically or horizontally), the blue field should only be positioned to the right of the flag (observer’s left).
  • When the flag is suspended on top of a corridor or in a window, the flag should always hand with the union on the observer’s left.


Looking to display the US flag on your commercial or residential property? Call Federal Flags at 1-404-409-9737. We’re a premium supplier of national flags, state flags, flagpoles, and flag accessories online.

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