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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Flagpoles were subpar and with marking around the middle that with suggested cleaning methods, never worked. Had to get them powder coated. Worst customer service possible!

I would love to write a review but I haven't got my product yet when will I receive it


Beautiful finish on quality materials. My install is not typical. I previously made my own pole out of 1.5" steel pipe with welded brackets to bolt to the hand rail and joists on the corner of my deck. It served it's purpose but never looked nearly as nice as it does now. I simply made nylon bushings to fit tightly between the steel pipe and the 3" aluminum pole and slipped it over. So far the highest wind we've had was 47mph and this configuration didn't flex at all with the flag at top mast. The flag is thicker material than most, and again, top quality material and craftsmanship. The best part for me is that this is 100% made in the USA. The only piece of the kit I didn't use was the nylon flag clips. You can upgrade to snaps that won't clang against the pole in the wind. Customer service was quick to respond and great to talk with. I will unquestionably buy another one for my next home!

Hard to find someone to do the job properly ,but after two weeks we finally got it in.
It is awesome and my neighbors are jealous. A couple of them have the telescopic flags so I enjoy telling them that mine is bigger than yours!