|How tall should my
- According to popular usage, the
length of the flag should be
between one-quarter and one-third the height of the flag pole.
When can I fly the flag?
- The flag of the United States may be
flown daily from sunrise to sunset in good weather from public
buildings, schools, permanent staffs, and in or near polling places
on election days. The flag may be displayed 24 hours a day on
patriotic holidays or if properly illuminated.
- The flag should always be flown on
national and state holidays and on those occasions proclaimed by the
President. On Memorial Day, the flag should be half-staffed until
When shouldn't I fly the flag?
- The flag should not be displayed on
days when the weather is bad, except when an all-weather flag is
used. For all-weather flags Click
What special precautions are needed
when handling a flag?
- The flag should be hoisted briskly
and lowered ceremoniously. It should never be dipped to any person
nor should it ever be displayed with the union down, except as a
signal of dire distress.
- The flag should never touch anything
beneath it, nor should it ever be carried flat or horizontally.
- When a flag is displayed on a car,
the flag's staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to
the right fender.
What acts are considered offensive
to the honor of the USA Flag?
- It should never be used as wearing
apparel, bedding, drapery, or decoration, nor for carrying or
- The flag should never be fastened,
displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to be easily torn,
soiled, or damaged. It should never be used as a covering for a
- The flag should not be draped over
the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle.
- The flag or its staff should never
be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.
- No picture, drawing, insignia or
other decoration should be placed on or attached to the flag, its
staff, or halyard.
- The flag should not be embroidered
on cushions, handkerchiefs, or other personal items nor printed on
anything designed for temporary use and discarded. However, a flag
patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen,
policemen, or members of other patriotic organizations.
Proper Disposal of a Flag that is
- When the flag is so worn or soiled
that it is no longer suitable for display, it should be destroyed in
a dignified manner, preferably by burning. The burning of a worn
flag can be made into a family event to show your families patriotic
pride. You may cut the flag into strips with care and burn the
strips one at a time.
- The Boy and Girl Scouts may also be
given a worn flag to dispose of. They have special flag disposal
ceremonies and can use worn flags for learning experiences. Contact
your local Boy
Girl Scout office.
Holidays for Displaying the USA Flag
- New Year's Day, Lincoln's Birthday,
Washington's Birthday, Armed Forces Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day,
Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, V-J Day, Labor Day,
Thanksgiving, Veterans' Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Christmas, State
Folding a Flag
Hold the flag horizontal to the ground, tightly at the ends with 2
people. The exposed flag edge seam folds should be facing up.
Make a single lengthwise fold, with the exposed sewn seams of the flag
facing up and the smooth edge down. Pull tight and keep taught. No
seam edge folds are now visible after folding.
Make another single fold. Pull tight again.
Holding the flag taught at both ends without relaxing the fabric,
start folding a triangle from the fold to the edge at a right angle.
Continue folding tight, 90 degree triangles while assuring the folds
Repeat this procedure until the flag has reached end of the stars.
A finished flag, properly folded, is smooth, taught and squarely
Flag Folding Ceremony
The ceremony of folding a flag may be
narrated at special occasions. The following narration is from the
United States Air Force Academy and is read aloud as each fold takes
- "The first fold of our flag is a
symbol of life."
- "The second fold is a symbol of our
belief in the eternal life."
- "The third fold is made in honor and
remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of
life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the
- "The fourth fold represents our
weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to
Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His
- "The fifth fold is a tribute to our
country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in
dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is
still our country, right or wrong."
- "The sixth fold is for where our
hearts lie. It is with our heart that we 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."
- "The seventh fold is a tribute to
our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect
our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be
found within or without the boundaries of our republic."
- "The eighth fold is a tribute to the
one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we
might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies
on Mother's Day."
- "The ninth fold is a tribute to
womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and
devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this
country great have been molded."
- "The tenth fold is a tribute to
father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the
defense of our country since they were first born."
- "The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a
Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King
David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
- "The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a
Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies,
in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost."
- "When the flag is completely folded,
the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God