A series of executive orders and Presidential proclamations have brought the official flag to the status it enjoys today. There are guidelines—a code—of serious do's and don'ts about the handling of the flag.
Upon the death of military service personnel, each is entitled to have the coffin draped with the Stars and Stripes.
Here are some do’s and don'ts when it comes to our nation's flag:
Time and Occasion:
It is customary to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, flags may be flown on designed dates like:
- Flag Day June 14
- Fathers Day, third Sunday in June
- Independence Day, July 4
- Labor Day, first Monday in September
- Constitution Day, September 17
- Columbus Day, second Monday in October
- Navy Day, October 27
- Veterans Day, November 11
- Thanksgiving Day, fourth Tuesday in November
- Christmas Day, December 25
- And such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
- The birthdays of states (when admitted to the Union)
- And on other state holidays
Positions and manner of display
- Flags should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff
- The flag shall not be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle
- No other flag or pennant should be placed above it
- The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag’s own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag
- When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street, or the east in a north and south street.
- The flag, when flown at half-staff should be first hoisted to the peak for an instance or moment, then lowered to its half-staff position
- When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be placed so that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into a grave or allowed to touch the ground
Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing the flag
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag, or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render a military salute. Members of the Armed Forces not in uniform should still render a salute. All other persons should remove caps, stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart.
If you knew all of these guidelines, give yourself an “A” for knowledge of the flag Code.