American Flag Etiquette

American flag etiquette flag code

The American flag is a symbol of freedom, it has been used for generations as a
guiding light for peoples all over the world, this symbol is a representation of the ideals of the United States of America and all those who represent this great nation and so it is imperative
that we show it the utmost respect.

People look for the rule supplied display in many places, scouting manuals, reference books but it’s actually contained in a part of the law called the US flag code.

The flag code was originally created in 1923 to kind of standardize the way we display the flag.

Before that time there were all kinds of things that people were doing, they would take a flag and drape it back like a drapery in home.

Different organizations came together and they decided that there should be some guidelines that people can use.

The flag code was unofficial until World War two, when Congress finally adopted it and it was updated in 1976 for the Bicentennial. One of the big changes they made in 1976, just to give you an idea, it still gave instructions for clamping flags to the radiator caps on automobiles, so when we display the flag it’s showing respect for the flag.

We aim to demonstrate the proper etiquette for flag usage and display as dictated by hundreds of years of American tradition and by chapter one of title 4 of the United States Code, the flag code.

Conducting a flag-raising ceremony

When conducting a flag-raising ceremony it is important to speak loudly and clearly so that everyone can hear you, showing your respect.

● The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

● The persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart.

● Those present in uniform should salute right ans lee the Pledge of Allegiance created in 1892 by Francis Bellamy is a sign of one’s loyalty to the flag and to our nation traditionally
the pledge is also part of a flag raising ceremony and all should stay saluting while reciting the solemn pledge: «I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and
to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all».

Storing the flag

As a symbol of our country the flag should be stored in a respectful manner by folding the flag into a triangle. The process of folding the American flag is as follows:

● First fold the flag in half long ways with the Stars facing the ground.

● Next fold the flag in half long ways again so that both the top and bottom of the folded flag has an equal portion of the field and stars on it following the last fold.

● The person holding the stripes should start creating the triangle design by taking the bottom right corner and folding it onto itself follow the pattern of the bottom fold of the flag
to keep the flag taut in order to keep crisp folds and help ensure the flag has a prolonged life.

● Finally tuck any excess flag and border into the folds to secure the triangle shape

Retiring a flag

While flying the American flag is a very patriotic action it is important for owners of flags flown outdoors to know when to retire the flag.

The flag when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display should be destroyed in a dignified way.

➜ No other flag or pennant should be placed above or if on the same level to the right of the flag of the United States of America.

➜ When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the Union should be uppermost and to the observers left unless flying.

➜ When all-weather blend the flag should always be lowered folded and stored in a safe area at night or when inclement weather may occur.

➜ When flying flags during night or bad weather it should always stay illuminated.


There can never be a definitive answer to what is the meaning of the flag of the United States, there are people in this world who see it as a symbol of imperialism, others see it as a destiny of the people, but reference to these similar views of the flag was resolved by Woodrow Wilson when he said: «This flag which we honor and under which we serve is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and shape of this nation it has no other character than that which we give it, from generation to generation, the choices are ours.

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