Displaying an American flag is an effective way to indicate off your love for our nation. Nevertheless, your act of patriotism can rapidly change into (unintentionally) disrespectful in case you’re unaware of an vital algorithm. The U.S. Flag Code, established by Congress in 1942, provides pointers for treating this nationwide image with dignity.

You possibly can fly the American flag on all days, however the Flag Code particularly recommends displaying it on Independence Day, in addition to different main holidays like Flag Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day.

Take observe: Memorial Day has its personal flag etiquette. The American flag ought to be flown at half-mast from dawn till midday, then raised to full mast for the remainder of the vacation.

Brush up on the remainder of your flag etiquette forward of Memorial Day weekend by studying find out how to fly the Stars and Stripes the precise manner.

There is a proper and a mistaken approach to cling the flag vertically.

Do not cling your flag backwards, the wrong way up, or in one other inappropriate vogue. In case you’re hanging your flag vertically (like from a window or towards a wall), the Union portion with the celebrities ought to go on the observer’s left. By no means dip the flag to any particular person or something.

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Keep away from letting the flag contact the bottom.

Stop your flag from touching the bottom, ground, or water. It is not essential to get rid of your flag if it by accident hits the pavement, however you need to guarantee that it is in good situation earlier than displaying it once more.

Know the distinction between half-staff and half-mast.

There’s a distinction between half-staff and half-mast, though they’re generally used interchangeably. “Half-mast” technically refers to a flag flown on a ship’s mast, whereas “half-staff” describes flags flown on land.

Fly your flag on half-staff on the proper occasions.

The flag is flown at half-staff when the nation is in mourning, comparable to for the demise of presidency official or for remembrance, in addition to from dawn to midday on Memorial Day. When flying the flag at half-staff, first hoist it to the height for an on the spot after which decrease to the half-staff place.

Half-staff is outlined as one-half the space between the highest and backside of the flagpole. The flag ought to be once more raised to the height earlier than it’s lowered for the day.

American flag at half-mast in trees

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Solely fly a flag at evening whether it is illuminated.

Customized dictates that you need to show flags solely from dawn to sundown, however you possibly can maintain the celebrities and stripes flying 24 hours a day whether it is correctly illuminated throughout the nighttimes.

Do not fly the flag when it rains.

If the forecast requires inclement climate, you are not purported to show the flag — besides if it is an all-weather flag. Nevertheless, most flags these day are fabricated from all-weather, non-absorbent supplies like nylon, the American Legion states.

All the time fly the American flag above different flags.

That features state and metropolis flags. In the event that they need to be on the identical degree (i.e., you are hanging them vertically from a home or porch), put the American flag on the left. All the time hoist the American flag first and decrease it final.

Solely fly a flag in good situation.

Regardless of how effectively you maintain Outdated Glory, generally age simply wears down a flag. Newer flags made with artificial supplies could be machine washed in chilly water with a light detergent, and hung to dry.

Older, extra fragile flags ought to be hand washed utilizing Woolite or the same product. Small tears could be repaired by hand, as long as the mends aren’t overtly seen when the flag is displayed. Flags which can be overly worn, torn, or light ought to be correctly disposed of.

Get rid of an previous flag in a respectful method.

The Federal Flag Code says that unserviceable flags ought to be burned in a respectful, ceremonial method, however accomplish that discreetly so folks do not misread your intentions. Whether it is unlawful to burn artificial supplies in your state otherwise you really feel uncomfortable doing so, contact your native American Legion publish to seek out out if they’ve flag disposal ceremonies, which generally happen on Flag Day, June 14. Native Scout troops are one other useful resource for disposing your retired flag in a dignified and respectful manner.

Fold your flag earlier than storing it.

The American flag is historically folded in a selected association, however we assure it is simpler than folding a fitted sheet. When you must retailer your flag, seize one other particular person that will help you. Start by holding it parallel to the bottom with one other particular person, and fold the decrease stripes lengthwise over the Union, protecting the perimeters of the flag crisp and straight. Fold it lengthwise once more, protecting the blue Union on the surface.

how to fold an american flag

Betsy Farrell

Now make a triangular fold by bringing the striped nook of the folded edge to the open fringe of the flag, after which flip the outer level parallel to the open edge to make a second triangle. Proceed making triangular folds till the entire flag is folded into one triangle of blue and white stars.

Skip clothes and objects with flags on them.

Whereas this part of the Flag Code is never noticed, the rules advise towards utilizing the flag on clothes, costumes, athletic uniforms, bedding, cushions, handkerchiefs, different décor, and temporary-use objects like paper napkins and containers. It does allow flag pins worn over the left lapel and flags on army and first responder uniforms.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court docket dominated in 1984 within the case Texas v. Johnson that the federal government cannot implement flag-protection legal guidelines, so you will not get arrested for sporting an American flag T-shirt. Do no matter feels most respectful and acceptable to you.

Keep away from these frequent flag errors, too.

In addition to sporting flag-covered clothes, there are a pair different Flag Code violations that you may simply keep away from. Most of those concern flag placement — a flag ought to by no means contact something beneath it whereas it is flying, it ought to by no means been used as overlaying for a ceiling, and you need to by no means place something on the flag (like a “mark, insignia, letter, phrase, determine, design, image, or drawing of any nature”).

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