Flag Etiquette

Display Dates for the U.S. Flag

New Years Day - January 1
Martin Luther King Day - 3rd Monday in January
Inauguration Day - January 20 (every 4th year)
Lincoln's Birthday - February 12
Washington's Birthday - 3rd Monday in February
Easter Sunday - variable
Army Day - April 6
V-E Day - May 8
Mother's Day - 2nd Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day - 3rd Sunday in May
Memorial Day - (half staff til' noon) last Monday in May
Flag Day - June 14
Independence Day - July 4
Labor Day - 1st Monday in September
V-J Day - September 2
Anniversary of the Writing of the "Star Spangled Banner" - September 14
Constitution Day - September 17
Columbus Day - 2nd Monday in October
Navy Day - October 27
Presidential Election Day - 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November
Veteran's Day - November 11
Christmas Day - December 25

Colors and Meanings

Stands for Courage and hardiness
Is the symbol of purity and innocence
Is the color of vigilance, perseverance, and justice

General Etiquette

When & Where to Display the Flag on buildings & stationary flagpoles outdoors, the flag should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset. It should not be displayed at all in stormy & rainy weather, unless for a very special reason. In no case should it ever touch the ground. It should be raised with hearty briskness & when lowered, it should be done solemnly & slowly.

The Blue Field with the Stars in the Flag should be at the peak of a staff extending from the building front, balcony or window; and next to a pole when extended from a house to a pole at the edge of a sidewalk or suspended by a rope. When the flag is displayed horizontally or vertically flat against a wall or similar place, the blue field must be at the left of a person facing it; this is also true when used on a speakers platform. It must also be above and behind the speaker if placed flat. However, if the flag is flown from a staff, it is placed at the speaker's right.

When the flag is displayed over the middle of a street, it is suspended vertically. The blue field points north in a street running east & west, and it points east in a street running north & south.

When the American Flag is crossed against the wall with another flag, our flag is on the observer's left and the staff crosses in front of the other flag. When it is flown on the same halyard with flags of states, cities, societies or clubs, the American flag must be at the top. When these other flags are in a group, each flag from its own staff, our American flag must be at the right end of the line, that is ... to the onlooker's left. During peacetime eras, international usage forbids the display of one national flag above another and all must be equal in height and size. When displayed in our own country, with flags of other nations, the American flag must be the first one hoisted and the last to be lowered.

In a Parade or Procession with but one other flag, the American flag is at the marching right, but in a line of other flags, the American flag is in front of the center of the line. When mounted on a float in a parade, our flag must be displayed from a staff during the passing of our flag in a parade or while it is raised or lowered, every person present must stand at attention, facing the flag. Men not in uniform should take off their hats, and hold them with the right hand at the left shoulder with the hand over the heart. Civilian woman salute our flag by placing the right hand over the heart.

In Pledging Allegiance to the Flag, the people face the flag, standing with the right hand over the heart.

On an Automobile, the flag may be fastened to a small radiator ornament, or, if on a staff, it may be fastened to the grill-work in front of the car. If it is very tiny, it may be attached to the top of the radio aerial, or the flagstaff may be fastened to the bumper bracket, on the right as the flag is faced from the rider's seat, as it is on the car of the President of the United States.

In 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance was reworded slightly, so that it reads "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

For a full list of regulations and flag flying holidays, see the United States Code,
Title 4, Chapter 1 – The Flag.