On June 14th, the country comes together to honor our national flag every year. Individuals, small businesses, and large corporations celebrate this day by displaying the flag outside their homes and offices. Although Flag Day is not a major holiday, people celebrate it with parades, contests, picnics, and more. However, there are a few flag etiquettes that you need to know and follow for this flag day.
Hanging the Flag
For several people, the only option to display the flag outside their homes or stores is to hang it vertically on a wall, window, or a door. If you plan to do so, make sure that the blue section of the flag, called the Union, is to the left of the person seeing the flag. You need to follow the same rule if you plan to hang it horizontally.
Apart from this, make sure that the flag folds fall as freely. The fall should be similar to when the flag is on staff. To display the flag in the street, make sure to suspend it vertically. The Union should face the north if the street is east and west. If the street is north and south, the Union should be in the east direction.
Using the Flag in Parades
On Flag Day and other national holidays, Americans enjoy participating in parades. If you plan to hold the national treasure in such processions, make sure that the flag is always to the right of any other flag, and that the backdrops and frames are appropriate. If there is a line of several flags, the American flag has to be in front of the center of the line.
If the parade has a platform, the etiquette is to have the flag above or behind the speaker. The Union should be in the topmost position and to the left.
Displaying the Flag on a Staff
If you display the flag from a staff in a place of worship like the church or in an auditorium, the flag should be on the speaker’s right side. From the perspective of an attendee, it will be on the left side of view. If the space has other stands and displays, they should not obstruct the view of the flag.
Displaying the Flag on a Vehicle
When displaying the flag on a vehicle, make sure the staff stays firm and does not wobble as the vehicle moves. In addition, remember that you cannot display a flag on a float. Apart from this, the flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of your vehicle. Always use a staff to hold the flag.
Displaying the American Flag with Other Flags
Within the United States, you must avoid placing any other flag above or at the same level as the American flag. If you have to place the other flags at the same level, they should be to the right. If there are multiple flags, the American flag should be in the center and the highest of them all.
You need to follow this rule even when the national flag is displayed along with other american state or city flags. In case you have to display the flags of two or more nations and have to be of the same height, make sure to hoist the American flag the first and lower it down the last.
The Dont’s of Displaying a Flag
Firstly, the flag should always be above any person or thing. It holds true even for all government officials and even the person holding the highest office in the country. Secondly, there should be some gap from the surface beneath it. The flag should not touch the ground or water. The Union of the flag should always be up. Displaying it down signals dire distress.
While carrying the flag, make sure the flag is kept horizontally. Moreover, do not tie it to anything. Always keep it aloft and free. Do not keep anything on the flag. It is recommended that business owners avoid using the flag for any advertising. For instance, you cannot embroider it on fabrics or make custom handkerchiefs.
Hoisting the Flag
If you plan to hoist the flag for a ceremony, make sure to do so quickly. When lowering the flag, it should be done ceremoniously to honor the flag and its dignity. As you lower the flag, it is important to not let it touch the ground. Make sure you have someone else there to assist you in grabbing it as it is being lowered.
Disposing of the American Flag
Finally, if your flag is worn out, has holes, or is damaged, you need to follow a proper procedure to dispose of the flag. The ideal way is to give it a dignified and ceremonious end by burning it. Absolutely do not throw it in the trash.
June 14th is also when the American Legion conducts an annual ceremony to dispose of old, damaged, or worn-out flags. If you do not have experience with properly disposing of the flag yourself, reach out to your local American Legion post.