Flag Etiquette

Always be in the know on proper etiquette for your flag. We have complete information on what you need to do for everyday set-up and special events.


Q.How do I display a flag against a wall, building or window?
A.When displayed horizontally or vertically, the star field should always be to the flag’s own right or to the observer’s upper left. If in a window, it is from the observer on the street.

Q.What if I want to fly two flags from the same flagpole?
A.When flying a state, municipality or logo flag, the United States flag should always be at peak. International usage forbids the display of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

Q.What if I have two or more separate flagpoles?
A.No flag should be placed above the United States flag. Also, the United States flag should be to the flags own right or from the observer’s left side.

Q.How do I display indoor flag sets?
A.In churches or auditoriums, the United States flag should be displayed to the observers left hand side.

Q.How and when do I fly a flag at half-staff?
A.When flying a flag at half-staff, the flag should be raised to the top of the staff for an instant then lowered to the midway point of the pole. At the end of the day, it should be raised to the top of the staff before lowering. On Memorial Day, the flag is flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon before it is returned to full staff for the remainder of the day. In the event of the death of a principal figure, the President or Governor of a state may order the flag to be flown at half-staff for their memory.

Q.How can I tell the height of a flagpole?
A.You can determine the height of a flagpole on a sunny day doing the following. 1. Measure the flagpole’s shadow length and multiply that by a person’s actual height. 2. Divide that number by the person’s shadow length. 3. Know the height of that person. (Flagpole’s shadow x Person’s actual height)/Person’s shadow length = Flagpole Height. Remember that flagpoles are constructed in five foot intervals so round your final answer to the nearest five. (ie. 42’ = 40’ flagpole or 27’ = 25’ flagpole)

Q.Is it against the law to fly a flag at night without a light on it?
A.According to Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 6 of federal statutes, “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.”

Q.What is proper size flag for the height of my flagpole?
A.There are two thoughts on this. Originally, the length (fly) of the flag should be approximately 25% of the height of the pole. (i.e. 40’ Flagpole = 6’ x 10’ flag). Flagpole manufactures today now work on the guidelines that the width of the flag (hoist)should be approximately 20% of the flagpole. (i.e. 40’ Flagpole = 8’ x 12’ flag). IF YOU ARE UNSURE, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR FLAGPOLE MANUFACTURER/DEALER FOR PROPER SIZING.

Q.Does the flag have to be destroyed if it touches the ground?
A.The flag should never touch anything beneath it such as the ground, floor or water. Care should be exercised in the handling of the flag, to protect it from becoming soiled or damaged. However, you are not required to destroy the flag if it touches the ground. As long as the flag remains suitable for display, even if washing or drying is required, the flag may continue to be displayed.

Q.What is the proper way to dispose of a flag?
A.The correct way to dispose of a United States flag is by burning or burial. Many times the Boy Scouts or local V.F.W.’s offer this service. If burning is not feasible, it can be placed out for collection, but only after the field is first removed from the flag. If you wish to have your flag disposed properly, you may send it to The Flag Loft.