Have you ever taken a look at the US flag code? It’s, well, extensive–and a lot of it doesn’t apply to homeowners who want to fly a flag on their residential property.
The good news is that if you’re considering flying the American flag in your yard, you don’t need to memorize the US flag code. Instead, you just need to know a few important things.
Breaking the flag code doesn’t come with specific consequences for private citizens. However, it’s not the best way to show your respect and patriotism!
Read on to learn the five rules for hanging the American flag outside of your home.
1. Make Sure Nothing Is Higher Than the American Flag
Maybe you have a few other flags you would like to fly alongside your American flag. This is perfectly okay, but there are some rules that you need to remember. The easiest way to keep track of them all is to remember that nothing can fly higher than the American flag.
Taking a closer look, you’ll see that this rule takes on different forms. For example, let’s say that you want to fly the American flag and another nation’s flag. To do so properly, both flags should be the same size and flown at the same height on separate flagpoles.
If you want to fly more than two flags at a time (regardless of what they are), the American flag should be at the center. It should also be higher than the rest of your flags.
Direction and position also matter, here. Head to https://flagpolefarm.com/a-proper-display-the-flag-etiquette-rules-you-need-to-know/ to find out even more about flying your American flag the right way.
2. Follow the Rules For Bad Weather and Nighttime Flying
There are two rules that people sometimes misconstrue about flying the American flag. One is that you shouldn’t fly your American flag in weather that could destroy it. The other is that the American flag should never be flown in the dark.
Some people take these rules to mean that you have to take your American flag down in inclement weather or after sunset. However, there are ways around doing so–mostly.
Nowadays, you can purchase American flags made out of “all-weather” materials like nylon and polyester. These materials are non-absorbent, which means that a little rain isn’t going to destroy them. (If the storm is severe, you should probably take your flag down regardless of material.)
You can also shed light on your flag after sunset to leave it up overnight. As long as your flag is illuminated by direct light, it’s okay to keep it up.
3. The Flag Should Fly On Certain Days
When you’re flying an American flag on your own private property, certain rules don’t apply to you. That includes rules regarding certain days that are meant to be commemorated by flying the flag. However, it is still fun to show your patriotism by participating!
These days include:
- Armed Forces Day
- National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
- Inauguration Day
- Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays
- MLK Day
- Labor Day
- Constitution Day
Federal lands also fly the flag on certain holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving. Your state may also commemorate state holidays by flying the American flag.
Note that you don’t have to fly your American flag on these days, only. You can fly it every day of the year!
4. Flying Your Flag Half-Staff Requires Certain Know-How
When it comes to flying the American flag at half-staff, the government has a lot of very specific rules. For example, you should raise the American flag to the peak of its flagpole before lowering it to the halfway point. When taking it down for the day, you need to raise it to the peak again before bringing it all the way down.
On federal land, the flag must be flown at half-staff on specific days and for specific amounts of time. For example, the flag is flown at half-staff on Memorial Day until noon, when it is raised back up to the peak. Alternatively, the flag is flown at half-staff for 30 days after the death of a former president.
The federal government flies the flag at half-staff under specific circumstances. All of them indicate that the nation is mourning or recognizing loss.
As a private citizen, you may fly your flag at half-staff on these designated days if you wish to do so. You may also fly your flag at half-staff to display mourning for someone important in your own community, such as a teacher or church leader.
5. Retire Your Flag When It Wears Out
One of the rules that apply under all circumstances is that you must retire your American flag when it is worn out. That means that if your American flag is torn, severely faded, or tattered, it’s time to buy a flag that’s new and in good condition.
Keep in mind that there are specific ways that you must retire an American flag. We recommend contacting the VFW or American Legion nearest you. They will retire your American flag in a respectful and ceremonial manner, abiding by proper customs and etiquette.
Hang the American Flag the Right Way By Following These Rules
Are you considering flying the American flag in your own yard? If so, it’s important to know the rules and try not to break them. Fortunately, by following these five rules, you should be in good shape without trying to memorize the entire US flag code!
Are you planning on flying the American flag outside of your private business location? If so, you’re in luck. Almost all of these same rules apply!
Looking for more ways to make sure that your business is on the right track? Take a look around for business tips, guides, and industry news.