Federal 'Flag Code' shows how to fly Old Glory with proper respect
Do you proudly display Old Glory? Are you following the proper procedure? Many individuals, organizations and advertisers unintentionally disrespect the American flag because they don't know the proper etiquette for displaying it.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars organization publishes a brochure with the history of the American flag, including correct ways to store, transport, fly, and even dispose of Old Glory, according to the Federal Flag Code.
The following are some "dos" and "don'ts" excerpts from the Federal Flag Code.
Some flag "dos":
Sec.2 (a) It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
(b) The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
Sec.6 During rendition of the nation anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the miltary salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note.
Sec.7 The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, "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," should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.
When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag and render the military salute.
Some flag "don'ts":
Sec.2 (c) The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when displaying an all-weather flag.
Sec.3 (a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in section ( i.).
(b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motor car, the staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
(c) 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, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy.
(d) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.
Sec.4 (d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.