Flag 101: American Flag Etiquette Explained

August 12, 2019 2 min read

The American Flag is a totemic symbol of pride for our great nation. It’s a representation of the freedoms, beliefs, and values we stand for.

It also has the honor of being the first flag on the surface of the moon. That alone should be a reason to be proud of being an American!

And if you want to display your love for our great nation by displaying the beautiful Star-Spangled Banner at your home or office, you’ll need to follow specific rules

You Can’t Fly the Flag Upside-Down

One of the things you need to remember is that the flag can only be flown upside-down during an emergency. It’s strictly prohibited for anyone to display the flag upside-down.

You can only dip it when sending out a distress signal.

You Can’t Use It as Clothing

You’ve probably seen people wear the American flag as clothing. You’ve seen it printed on t-shirts, skirts, blankets, and even curtains. But the law has forbidden anyone using the flag as clothing or as drapery.

It cannot be used as embroidery or for advertising purposes. You can’t print the flag on napkins, table cloth, boxes, or anything that will be used for temporary purposes. This is because it’s disrespectful to discard the flag.

However, uniforms can have flags on them. The military, fire brigade, police officers, and any other patriotic organization is allowed to use the flag on their uniforms.

Displaying the Flag Properly

When it comes to displaying the flag, you need to keep one thing in mind: the flag cannot touch the ground. If you’re displaying it on a mast, make sure the union (the blue part) of the flag is at the peak and that you're displaying it on the highest point.

If you don’t have a mast, you need to make sure that the flag is displayed openly. It should be crease-free and should fly as freely as possible.

When displaying the flag on the streets or during a parade, make sure you’re displaying it vertically. As a rule of thumb, if the road transposes from north to south, you must make sure the flag faces the east.

And if it runs from west to east, you need to make sure the flag is towards the north.

And last but not least, when displaying the flag on your car, you should invest in a flagpole. It’s impolite to hang it through the window as this will dip the flag, having it face the ground.

In Conclusion

There are plenty of other rules you’ll need to follow. But these are a few of the many rules to keep in mind.

If you’re looking for high-quality American flags that are made in the U.S., you’ve come to the right place. Federal Flags is known for its quality products. We use SolarMax to make all our flags.

Feel free to browse through our collection before you place an order!



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492 reviews
Nice pole

The one piece pole is great. Should last. The freight company was the only thing that sucked on this purchase

Great product

We ordered the 25ft commercial sectional flagpole and light topper for our lake association. The product arrived quickly and was packaged so as not to be damaged in transit. We followed the directions and the flag was being raised in no time!!! I would definitely recommend this flagpole, and solar light is REALLY bright!!!

Our pole didn’t come with a external halyard rope.

High-quality flagpole, outstanding customer service

This is a strong, beautiful flagpole. As another reviewer advised, do not underestimate the manpower needed to hoist this flagpole. Four strong persons are needed, and more would be better. The instructions for the foundation are well-written. I used approximately 1.5 cubic yards of concrete.
For reference of the pole:flag ratio, the 35' pole pictured here has (1) 5'x8' flag, and (2) 4'x6' flags, spaced 6" apart.

Large Flag and Pole

Still waiting for delivery. This flag pole has been paid in full and no
site of flag pole or flag.
We did receive the Eagle, but nothing else.
Not happy.
Was over 4000.00.

Where is our flag and flag pole?
I have called 2 times and each time they said it should be here at the
end of each week and that was 3 weeks ago.

Stan & Susan Vessey