Following the Flag Code For American Flags


FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo, an unidentified man participates in a Blue Lives Matter rally in Kenosha, Wis. University of Wisconsin-Madison’s police chief has banned officers from using “Thin Blue Line” imagery while on duty. The move by Chief Kristen Roman follows criticism on social media of a “Thin Blue Line” flag displayed at the police department’s office. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

American flags are displayed on several occasions and outside or inside nearly every day in government buildings. When displaying a US flag, the Flag Code needs to be followed. If you don’t know what the Flag Code is, it’s a list of rules stating how to display a flag from certain flagpoles, in certain situations, and in relation to other flags. This includes displaying a flag outdoors from your own home to towns hanging them above the street. Although no penalty exists for not displaying a flag correctly, not displaying an American flag according to Flag Code is seen as a sign of disrespect to the nation.

When a black American flag is displayed on a flagpole or staff, for example, the Flag Code has certain requirements in regards to the location of the pole and of the flag on the pole. First, when one is flown from any pole or staff, the union – or blue field with stars – should be on the flag’s right and the viewer’s left. When displayed in the same area with other flags on poles, the American flag should always be in front. If the flag is on display in a church or auditorium, the American flag should always be to the right of the speaker. In addition, if other flags are displayed on the same pole, the American flag should always be on top, with other state and city flags below. At all times should the flag be displayed at the peak, unless the Flag Code specifies otherwise.

Displaying American flags on the street refers to another set of rules. For example, if the flag is in the middle of the street, the union must be to the north if the street runs east to west, but, if north to south, the union needs to be displayed on the easy. If an individual or a business displays the flag on a staff from the sidewalk, the American flag should be away from the building. If flat and without a staff, however, the flag should display the union in the upper left corner.


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