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Flag Etiquette - General Questions

Flag etiquette - General questions
Flag Etiquette - Display and Other Issues
How and When to fly the U.S. Flag at Half Staff
U.S. Flag code
Flag EtiquetteEver wonder what days you should fly the flag? Or how about where to place state and municipal flags when grouped with the U.S. Flag? How about how to properly fold a flag? We've compiled a short list below for you to check out and brush up on your flag awareness.

Can I leave the American flag up at night?
This is probably the question we are asked most often. The answer is YES. If a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. The Flag Code does not specify what "proper illumination" is. Although spotlighting the flag is best, it is generally accepted that ambient lighting, such as in a parking lot, is OK if the colors of the flag are visible.

When should I display the U.S. flag?

New Year's Day
January 1

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
3rd Mon in January

Inauguration Day
January 20

Lincoln's Birthday
February 12

Washington's Birthday
Third Monday in February

Easter Sunday
April 8, 2007

Mother's Day
Second Sunday in May

Armed Forces Day
Third Saturday in May

Flag Day
June 14

Father's Day
3rd Sunday in June

Independence Day
July 4

Labor Day
First Monday in September

Constitution Day
September 17>

Gold Star Mother's Day
Last Sunday in September

Columbus Day
Second Monday in October

Navy Day
October 27

National Election Day
1st Tuesday in November

Marine Corps Day
November 10

Veterans Day
November 11

Thanksgiving Day
Fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Day
December 25

Birthdays of States
(The date of admission)

State Holidays


When should I fly the flag at half staff?
Please see our half staff page...

What about Memorial Day?
The flag should be displayed at half staff as above, but only until Noon. At noon, the flag should be raised to the top of the pole.

When do I fly the flag at Half-staff?.
Please vist our to half-staff page.

Where is the U.S. flag never flown at Half-staff?
We are asked this question frequently. Two answers are: On the Moon and In Battle.

My flag touched the ground. Do I need to destroy it?
No. You should, of course, try to avoid having the flag touch the ground. But if it does, you should correct the situation immediately. If the flag has been dirtied, you should clean it by hand with a mild soap solution and dry it well before returning it to use.

My flag is old and ready to be retired. What should I do?
Section 8k of the Flag Code states, "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, preferably by burning." We recommend that you contact your local VFW Chapter and ask them for help properly disposing of your flag. And be sure to consider providing a small donation to them for their assistance. Or you can contact your local Elks Lodge (who created the idea of Flag Day, established officially by President Truman, himself a member of the Elks), the American Legion, or the Knights of Columbus. Some Boy Scout and Girl Scout troups also can provide this service.
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