stick flags on grave markers

Memorial Day is a sacred holiday where we honor the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom. Originally observed on May 30th, the Uniform Holiday Act of 1968 changed the date to the last Monday of May. Often confused with Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day is when we honor our fallen soldiers who gave their lives in service to the country. While the American Flag normally flies at the peak of the staff, during this somber holiday, the U.S. flag code states you should fly the flag at half-staff from sunrise to noon in honor of that nation’s fallen before raising it to full staff for the remainder of the day. Let’s look closer at the Memorial Day flag protocol so you can proudly display your American pride!

American flag centered in a group American flag centered in a group

Flag Placement  

It’s common on Memorial Day weekend to fly the national flag alongside one or all of the armed service emblems as a mark of respect. The U.S. flag code has strict guidelines for this since the flag of the United States should always be at the center of a group of flags, or if displaying multiple flags on the same flagpole, the U.S. flag should always be on top. If displaying two flags on their own poles, the American flag should be in front.

Vertical American flag Vertical American flag

Displaying The American Flag  

During this patriotic day, many people display the American flag. When flying at full staff, the flag should be at the top of the staff, with the blue field at the top. It is also important to note that when displaying the flag on a wall, the blue field should be on the observer’s left or the flag’s own right. If you can not raise or lower your flag to half-staff, such as on a spinning flagpole off your porch, you can choose to add a mourning bow to your display as a form of respect. 

Displaying Armed Forces Flags  

The U.S. Flag isn’t the only flag you will see flying high on Memorial Day; many choose to display one or all armed forces flags. Placing these flags beside the Stars and Stripes is an excellent way to honor those who fought valiantly, dedicating their lives in service to our country. There are five branches of the armed forces, including the: 

Whether you choose to display a branch where a loved one served or simply want to honor them all, be sure to fly it below your American flag.  

Flag flying order Flag flying order

Additional Flag Display Options  

While displaying Old Glory on a flagpole or wall is a more traditional option during Memorial Day, you can show your patriotism by displaying the flag in other ways. 

On Your Vehicle  

Adding a car flag to your vehicle is an excellent way to show your American pride everywhere you go. These compact flags easily attach and detach on your window, making them the perfect addition for all National holidays. 

On Your Boat  

If you plan on spending Memorial Day on your boat, it’s important to follow proper flag etiquette. When flown on a watercraft, the flag is referred to as an ensign and should only fly between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and sunset. It should only fly from the stern when anchored or from the gaff when in motion. 

Specialized Flags  

Along with the armed forces flags, you can display a specialized flag designed to honor those who died defending our liberties. One of the most popular options is the Honor & Remember flag, which was designed to promote national awareness for the nation’s fallen warriors. This flag is perfect for display in the home but was created for use in government, military, and educational facilities. 

We are at your Service!

Memorial Day is a somber holiday but one full of hope and pride as we honor the bravery of the men and women who helped preserve our nation’s freedoms. 

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