The United States Flag Etiquette

The United States Flag Etiquette

This is a discussion on The United States Flag Etiquette within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; :unitedsta Tuesday was trash collection day in my area. I was out walking my dog & I saw the United States Flag (The Colors Of ...

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Thread: The United States Flag Etiquette

  1. #1
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    The United States Flag Etiquette

    :unitedsta
    Tuesday was trash collection day in my area. I was out walking my dog & I saw the United States Flag (The Colors Of Our Country) tossed into a neighbors trash can like an old, spent, newspaper.
    It really pissed me off because right before I left the house they gave the death total of the number of American Soldiers that have died recently for what that flag of ours flag stands for.
    SOOOOO......For The Forum Record. Here It IS in total:
    Please Read It when you have time. It's a fairly long read.
    The Flag Don'ts Are Down Toward The End Of This Rather Long Thread. At least read those.


    The U.S. Flag, when carried in a procession with other flags, should be either on the marching right (the flag's own right) or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line. Never display the U.S. flag from a float except from a staff, or so suspended that its folds fall free as though staffed.

    When flags of states, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak.

    When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be in the uppermost corner and to the flags own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flags should be displayed the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

    When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's right.
    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, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea . . . for personnel of the Navy . . . when the church pennant may be flown above the flag. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof; provided, that nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.

    The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own I right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
    When displayed outdoors with other flags, the position of honor for the U.S. flag is the U.S. flag's own right which is normally the extreme left position as the flags are most frequently viewed.

    When the U.S. flag is displayed on a pole projecting from a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff. When suspended from a rope extending from a building on a pole, the flag should be hoisted out union first from the building.

    When flags of two or more nations are displayed: in this circumstance, all the flags including the U.S. flag are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

    When other flags are flown from the same halyard: the U.S. flag should always be at the peak. When other flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first and lowered last. No flag may fly above or to the right of the U.S. flag.

    When Flown at half staff: the U.S. flag should be first hoisted to the peak for a moment and then lowered to the half staff position. The flag should be raised to the peak again before it is lowered for the day.

    The U.S. flag should form a distinctive feature at the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but should never be used as the covering for the statue or the monument.

    When the U.S. flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

    Saluting the Flag: When a national flag is raised or lowered as part of a ceremony, or when it passes by in a parade or in review, all persons, except those in uniform, should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart.

    Those in uniform should give the military salute. When not in uniform, a man should remove his hat with his right hand and hold it at his left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. The flag should be saluted at the moment it passes in a parade or in review. Citizens of other countries stand at attention, but need not salute.

    It is the universal custom to display the national flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary Flagstaff in the open on all days that weather permits, but especially on national and state holidays and other days that may be proclaimed by the President of the United States. On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag should be half-staffed until noon.

    The U.S flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness.

    The U.S. flag should be displayed DAILY on or near the main building of every public institution, during school days or near every schoolhouse, and in or near every polling ststion on election days.

    Always hoist the U.S. flag briskly. Lower it ceremoniously.

    When displayed from a staff in a church or a public auditorium, the U.S. flag should be in position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience (the left of the audience). Any other flag so displayed is to be placed at the speaker's left as he faces the audience (the right of the audience).
    If displayed flat against a wall on the speaker's platform, the U.S. flag should be placed above and behind the speaker. When displayed either horizontally or vertically, the union of the flag should be in the upper left hand corner as the audience faces the flag.

    The U.S. flag should be at the center and at the highest point of the group, when a number of flags of states or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs. When the U.S. flag is on display with flags of other nations, all staffs should be of equal height with the U.S. flag in the position of honor at the U.S. flag's own right,which is the extreme left as the flags are viewed.

    Half-Staff: The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day, the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of the state, territory or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in I accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any state, territory or possession of the United States, the Governor of that state, territory or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff

    IMPORTANT DONT'S

    It is generally not desirable to fly the flag outdoors when the weather is particularly inclement because exposure to severe winds and rain may damage the flag or the pole on which it is displayed.
    Never in any way should disrespect be shown the U.S. flag.
    The U.S. flag should never be dipped into any person or thing.
    Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are dipped as a mark of honor.
    The U.S. flag should never be displayed with the union down except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
    The U.S. flag should never touch anything beneath it - ground, floor, water or merchandise.
    The U.S. flag should never be carried horizontally, but it should always be aloft and free.
    Always allow the U.S. flag to fall free- never use the U.S. flag as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery, festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds.
    For draping platforms and decorations in general, use blue, white and red bunting. Always arrange the bunting with the blue above, the white in the middle and the red below.
    The U.S. flag should never be fastened, displayed, used or stored in any manner which will permit it to be easily torn, soiled or damaged in any way. Never use U.S. flags as a covering or drapes for the ceiling.
    Never place anything on the U.S. flag.
    The U.S. flag should never have placed upon it, or on any part of it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature.
    Never use the U.S. flag for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything. The U.S. flag should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins, boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use or discard.
    Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
    Never use any part of the U.S. flag as a costume or athletic uniform.
    A flag patch may be affixed to uniforms of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.


  2. #2
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    I don't think people know half of this stuff, nor do they always handle the flag with dignity.

    Last weekend, my wife and I saw an appliance store closing for the day, and they lowered their flag--a huge one, perhaps fifteen foot by ten foot. One guy was doing the chore. Since it was so big, he simply let the flag pile up on the ground as he finished the work.

    I also had reservations about lowering the flag to half-staff for the death of the pope. Granted, he is the king of Vatican City, and technically our President can mandate the order. However, I don't think anyone would question the fact that by a simple definition, the pope is primarily a bishop.

    So where do you draw the line? If Ronald NcDonald keels over will President Hillary whip out an 'executive order' to lower our flag to half-staff?

    Technically, it appears she must dine at those all-you-can-eat places, but Ronald is an Embassador.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    When I came to my new classroom this year I was horrified. They were using a paper flag that had faded in the sun.

    The first thing I bought was the biggest flag that would fit on my wall. It's centered on the wall and the very first thing you see when you enter.

    I'm slightly famous for having the biggest flag on campus, and it's only a 3 by 5. The flag in my room is the same size as the one that flies on the roof.

    Regretfully I had to use a vertical display as I've no room or budget for a pole, but I consulted my Boy Scout handbook and followed the directions for such a display to insure the union was positioned correctly.

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    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    It irratates me to see our flag at half staff/mast as often as it is. IMHO our flag should be lowered during very,very,special occasions only. Seems that every governor,city mayor,fire chief,or even the executives of certin companies are making the decision to lower our flag. Our local Fire Dept. reciently lowered the flag to half staff uppon the death of one of it's retired firefighters. This,IMHO,is ultra inappropriate. I love this country and the flag that is it's symbol. I carried a small flag with me during almost all my time in S.E. Asia(4 years).Even on the missions that I was warned against it. I hate to see our flag treated the way it has become to be treated.My flag is flying right now(and has been since I moved in) in the front yard of my house. I WILL NOT lower it to half staff unless I feel that it is appropriate to do so. I know that this irratates some of my neighbors, BUT----too freakin' bad.

  5. #5
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    Excellent post. An interesting point is that while Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1 proscribes improper use and display of the flag, it doesn't provide for any penalties for violations.


    When youíre wounded and left on Afghanistanís plains,
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    And go to your God like a soldier.

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    The U.S. flag should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins, boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use or discard.
    So we're not supposed to have American flag toothpicks?

    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Nor should you wear an American flag bandanna.

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    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    Betty,

    I'm sure the producers of those toothpicks *meant* no disrspect, but a lot of people don't know the protocols. After 9-11 everything was emblazened with red, white and blue.

    When I was in college people used smaller flags for patches on their pants and enflamed older people. Technically, the flag on Peter Fonda's back is incorrect.

    You know, I've just used the flag only to epict it as a symbol for my country, and nothing more. I don't know all of the ins-and-outs of the rules, and it's simpler to just use it that way.

    Symbols mean a lot to people. The example I always cite is the Rebel Flag. On the bumper of a redneck pick-up truck it can mean one thing. On the jacket of a biker it means something totally different.

    (Because of the 'Wild Ones,' Bikers wear the stars-n-bars in a reference to Marlon Brando's retort to a woman's question, "What are rebelling against?" Marlon answered, "What have you got?" Long before anyone even remotely inferred that the Rebel Flag was a racial epithet, the patch appeared on many biker jackets. I had to look at my own colors for one; I didn't find one, but I would have bet you real money it was there--and that it referred to Marlon's comment.)

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    Member Array Fjolnirsson's Avatar
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    Nice to see some folks who still care about our flag.

    At my previous place of employment, I was given a severe chewing out, and threatened with termination. Why?
    Because I suggested to my boss that we should not fly our flag at night without illumination. This flag stood at the entrance to the community, and could be seen by all who passed by. I told him I felt it was disrespectful to all the men who had died for that flag, as well as the flag itself, and we should take it down, or provide illumination. I offered to do the work myself.
    His response:
    "I'm a Gulf War Veteran, and I don't see it as disrespectful. Who are you, to lecture me on flag ettiquette? This department has bigger problems to worry about. Is this what you do with your time? Are you trying to get fired?"

    So, I lowered the flag every night at 10 pm, when I arrived, and raised it in the morning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ
    It irratates me to see our flag at half staff/mast as often as it is. IMHO our flag should be lowered during very,very,special occasions only. Seems that every governor,city mayor,fire chief,or even the executives of certin companies are making the decision to lower our flag. Our local Fire Dept. reciently lowered the flag to half staff uppon the death of one of it's retired firefighters.
    I'm not sure I agree, since this is local why shouldn't a locality be able to show a sign of respect for someone who has served their country and community?
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Our symbols of respect for our country CAN be red,white,and blue. It can also have stars on it. It just can't be the American Flag unless the proper respect is shown. This we SHOULD do more often. BTW--- I won lots of drinks at the bars(back in my day)on the bet---- What flag,under what conditions,can be flown above the American Flag??

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    Member Array cls12vg30's Avatar
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    I have heard many times that the state flag of Texas is the only state flag allowed to be flown at the same height as the United States flag, and that this exception was put into the Texas annexation act upon the insistence of the Texans.

    Can any of you from Texas confirm or refute this? I never knew for sure if it was true or just an urban legend.
    "Terrorists don't seem to be too afraid of stern language. But I do notice, that while the fear of death does not seem to deter these people, the fact of BEING dead does significantly decrease their operational effectiveness. "
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    Thumbs up You Folks Are The Absolute Best!

    I am so glad that all of you kind folks responded to this thread.
    I really almost expected it to be sort of a dead "ho humm" thread.
    You people really made my day!
    I am willing to personally overlook some minor infractions of strict flag protocol as long as it done inadvertently & with basic respect for this country.
    Don't ever spit on or burn a flag in hatred of this country in front of me though because I will put your A$$ on a slow boat out of here.
    In the heat of the moment...George W. Bush once signed his name on an American flag for an admirer. So...even the "Commander In Chief" of the United States can slip a bit on strict flag etiquette.
    But, it sure was not done with intentional disrespect for the flag or for the country. That is the difference.
    The President is the guy that ages 15 years in four years acting as watchdog for the US so...if he slips on flag protocol I sure am looking the other way!
    The reality is that it is a New Age and there will always be Flag Toothpicks & Flag Party Favors and that will probably never change.
    It's also to be expected that some folks will "goof" out of ignorance.
    If they respect this country & the people that died for it and the flag then I can see cutting them some slack.
    Old Glory tossed into the Garbage Can is just a little bit too much for my sensibilities though.
    That strikes me a heckova lot harder than a flag toothpick that might accidentally end up under the picnic table during a celebration of this nation. I think there is a huge difference.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cls12vg30
    I have heard many times that the state flag of Texas is the only state flag allowed to be flown at the same height as the United States flag, and that this exception was put into the Texas annexation act upon the insistence of the Texans.

    Can any of you from Texas confirm or refute this? I never knew for sure if it was true or just an urban legend.
    Actually there's a lot of lore about Texas supposedly having some special legal status.

    For instance there's an old myth that there's a special clause in our state constituition that allows Texas to secede from the Union at whim.

    There's this one about the state flag too.

    Both are false.

    However it is true that there was a provision made when Texas annexed that the state could be split up. The trouble with that is that it's forbidden by the U.S. Constituition. The reason that was written in there was because of the concern about Texas being a slave state, it would upset the balance of power in the US government.

    And there is a radical group calling themselves "The Republic of Texas" who thinks we should secede and be our own country again. Bunch of freaks.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Well, just to kinda bring things to light from another angle, next time you're at a sporting event, or watching one on TV where our good ole Stars n Stripes are flapping and the National Anthem is playing....look around at all the bozos that are being "disrespectful"....most likely out of ignorance....no hats come off, no hand over the heart, no snap to a semblance of attention....it makes me want to cry! I still get goose bumps at the sound of our anthem....damned proud of our country faults and all, and I show the utmost respect for our colors!

    By the way...darn good post !!

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