The best way to celebrate the independence of America is to display the Stars and Stripes on the front of your house. However, there are certain rules that need to be followed when displaying the American flag. Here is a brief refresher to ensure you do everything right – as detailed in the U.S. Flag Code – which explains the dos and don’ts of handling the American flag.
- When displaying the American flag never allow it to touch the ground. Whenever you are displaying or hanging the flag, the key is to ensure you don’t damage it so make sure it doesn’t touch anything under it or drop it.
- Don’t ever wear the flag as a type of costume. It is very clear in the U.S. Flag Code that no parts of the flag are allowed to be worn as a costume or sportswear, or used for making bedding or drapery. For people who really would like to show their patriotism off, choose a lapel flag pin or patch and wear it close to your heart.
- The flag should only be displayed from sunrise through sunset unless you light it at night. The American Legion says that means that other individuals should be able to recognize the flag at all times. In bad weather, the flag needs to taken down unless it is an all-weather flag.
- The flag should never be placed anywhere except on the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. Anytime a flag is suspended from a rope over a sidewalk and extending to a pole from the house on the edge of the sidewalk, the flag is supposed to be foisted out from the building, union first (The union refers to the blue field of stars). Whenever vertically hanging the flag, the union should be on top at all times.
- Never wad up the flag. Instead, fold it up correctly. It is very important to store the flag properly. According to the American Legion, it should be folded into a triangle, resembling a three-corner hat, with its stars and blue showing.
- Raise the flag briskly and not slowly. It should be lowered ceremoniously and slowly.
- The flag should never be carried horizontally or flat. Always carry it free and aloft.
- The flag should never be displayed with the union facing down. The flag should only be displayed this way in situations of extreme danger to property or life, as a type of distress signal.
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