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When and How to Fly the Flag

Although it is permitted to fly the American Flag any and every day of the year, it is recommended to fly the flag on certain holidays and special occasions. Most people associate the flag with patriotic days like Independence Day and Flag Day, but any holiday that is important to our country can be represented by the flag.

January 1st
New Year's Day

3rd Monday in January
Martin Luther King Day

January 20th
Inauguration Day

February 12
Lincoln's Birthday

February 22
Washington's Birthday

Varied
Easter Sunday

3rd Monday in April
Patriot's Day

2nd Sunday in May
Mother's Day

May 15th
Peace Officers Memorial Day

3rd Saturday in May
Armed Forces Day

Last Monday in May
Memorial Day

June 14th
Flag Day

3rd Sunday in June
Father's Day

July 4th
Independence Day

July 27th
Korean War Veteran's Day

1st Monday in September
Labor Day

September 11th
Patriot Day

September 17th
Constitution Day

Last Sunday in September
Gold Star Mother's Day

2nd Monday in October
Columbus Day

October 27th
Navy Day

Tuesday following the 1st Monday in November
Election Day

November 11th
Veteran's Day

4th Thursday in November
Thanksgiving

December 7th
Pearl Harbor Day

December 25th
Christmas Day

Varied
State Birthdays & Holidays

Varied
Other days proclaimed by the President of the USA

 

HOURS

CONDITIONS

For a stationary flag displayed on a building, pole or staff, it is customary to fly it from sunrise to sunset. You are only permitted to display your flag at night if it is properly illuminated. This means that you must have a light dedicated to "spotlighting" your flag. A street light or well lit area will not provide enough light. With the right lighting, you can fly your flag 24 hours a day for as many days as you like.

If you haven't invested in an all-weather flag, make sure you bring your flag indoors in weather conditions like rain, snow, sleet or hail. Even all-weather flags can be damaged by severe storms, causing them to become torn and tattered. A damaged flag is disrespectful to our nation, and will require repair or replacement.

The Flag Code describes the flag as a living thing, and it should be treated as such. With the proper care, your flag can last for a long time with little or no repair.

LOCATION POSITION
According to the Flag Code, the American Flag should be flown:
  • On or near every polling place on election days
    Voting is one of the most important rights we have as American people. It, like the flag, represents our freedom, and stands as a basis for our governmental structure. It is a requirement that the flag is flown on election days at polling places.
  • On or near the main administration building of all public institutions
  • On or near every schoolhouse (during school days)
  • The flag is to be flown at public schools and colleges to instill a sense of patriotism in the students. These institutions are owned by the government and important to the nation. Although it is strongly suggested to fly the flag in these areas, it is not required.

The flag should always be displayed upright with the union to the top left. Flying the flag with the union down is considered a "breach of etiquette" (Sharpman). However, it can be used as a call for help, similar to SOS, if you are in extreme danger and need assistance.

Throughout the years war protesters have flown the flag upside down to show that the entire country is in distress. It is still a debate whether this should be considered a desecration of the flag or an expression of free speech. It will usually attract negative attention from law enforcement and civilians alike.


References

Online Stores’ external links disclaimer.

U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 6 & Section 7.

The Care and Display of the American Flag by the Editors of SharpMan.com 2004.



When to Fly the Flag | Flag Fabrics & Sizes | Displaying the Flag with other Flags | Flying the Flag at Half-Staff | Caring for your Flag | Repair & Disposal of Flags | Folding the American Flag | The Flag and Patriotic Decorations | Carrying the Flag | The Pledge of Allegiance | The Star-Spangled Banner | American Flag History

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