Top 6 Flag Rules of American Flag Care
The American flag represents the United States of America. It is an important part of our country and should be cared for in the manner it deserves.
The American flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset at all government buildings and schools. The flag should be attached to a stationary flagstaff that has a prominent place out in the open so the flag can fly free and unencumbered. The flag should only be flown in good weather unless a flag that is constructed of weather resistant material is used. Flying a torn and tattered flag is not respectful.
The United States flag is not to be flown in the dark unless it is illuminated. Should you desire to fly your flag at all hours and in all conditions, AmericanFlags.com can provide flags of any size desired, constructed with materials designed to stand up to the toughest of conditions. They will also work with you to provide lighting solutions if you do not already have them in place.
The flags are to be flown with the union up, unless you are under duress, and should always be flown at full staff unless a time of mourning has been declared. When flying a flag at half-staff, first raise it all of the way to the top, and then ceremoniously lower it to half-staff. When bringing it down, raise the flag back to full staff prior to lowering it.
The American flag should be displayed to the right of a stage and speaker (the left for the person facing the stage). All other flags should be placed to the speaker’s left. No flag should be larger or displayed higher than the American flag. If the flag is hung behind the speaker or on a podium, the flag may be horizontal or vertical, but the union is always to the observer's left.
When being moved in a procession, the American flag must be to the flag's own right or in the front center of any other flags. The American flag is never to be dipped.
The flag of the United States should not touch the ground or anything that is beneath it, including the floor, water, or another surface. If the flag gets wet, it is okay to lay it flat to dry it, since you should never fold a damp or wet flag.
To keep the flag bright and clean, it is acceptable to hand wash the flag with warm water and a color-safe detergent. Many times a dry cleaner will clean the American flag for free. During the cleaning process, be sure to keep the flag off of the floor or ground. Unless you are drying the flag, it should never be draped over anything, but always be kept upright and hanging or flying freely.
The flag should be folded properly before it is stored. The American flag should not be crumpled or tossed in a pile, put in a basket, etc. It should not be stored in any manner that would permit it to be torn, dirtied, or damaged.
To fold the flag, two people should face each other while holding opposite ends of the flag. Fold it in half lengthwise, twice. The union (blue) will be at one end. The person opposite the union starts by folding the flag in a triangular fold until they reach the union. Fold the union square into a triangle and tuck it into the folded flag.
Should an American flag become worn or soiled, it should be disposed of in a dignified manner and never thrown in the trash. The most dignified manner is by burning it ceremoniously. Most military organizations such as the VFW or American Legion will take your old flags and make sure they are disposed of properly.
When the flag is being moved or presented, observers who are not in a military uniform should stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart. Men should remove their hats. Those who are in military uniforms should render the appropriate salute. Former members of the United States military or their family may choose to render a salute as well.
The same honor should be shown to the flag during the pledge of allegiance or singing of the national anthem.
One of the best ways you can show respect to and care for the flag is by purchasing a flag that has been designed and created to stand up to its use and purpose. At AmericanFlags.com, every flag is constructed of the finest materials with the highest-quality right here in the United States.