8 American Flag Rules Every American Should Know

The flag is the emblem of United States of America as a separate nation. Therefore, it should be respected by every person all the time. However, most people are not aware of most of the rules that should be observed, and thus disrespect the identity of the nation.

Here are eight rules about the American flag every American should know.

1. Conduct while hoisting, passing or lowering of the American flags

How do you conduct yourself while the flag is passing, hoisting, or being lowered?

  1. People present in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the national and maintain that position to the last.
  2. Members of the armed forces present but not in uniform may also render the military salute in a manner described for people in uniform.
  3. Other people present should stand at attention with the right hand over their heart and remove their headdress and hold it at their right shoulder where applicable.
  4. When the flag is not being hoisted, those present should face towards the music and act in the manner they would if the flag were displayed.

2. Occasions for display

Are you aware of the days when the flag should be displayed? During these occasions that have been marked on the calendar, the national flag should be hoisted smartly and lowered ceremoniously. However, it should not be lifted on harsh weather days, except and only when an all-weather flag is displayed.

3. Manner of display

The flag should be displayed in a way that it depicts respect to the nation.

  1. The flag should not be presented on a float while in a parade unless from a rod.
  2. It should not be wrapped/draped over the hood, back, top, or side of a vehicle, train, or boat.
  3. If it is displayed on a car or train, the staff should be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped appropriately to the right screen.

4. Respect for the national flag

Every person should respect the national flag at all times. No disrespect for the flag of United States of America should be shown.

  1. The flag should never be dipped to anything or to any person.
  2. It should never touch anything underneath it such as the ground, water, floor, or any other kind of merchandise.
  3. Nobody should use the flag as a wearing apparel, drapery, or dressing. It should always fall free at all times and never drawn back or folded up.
  4. It should never be used as a ceiling cover, or any kind of covering.
  5. The flag should never be used as a repository for holding, receiving, delivering, or carrying anything.
  6. The national flag should not be used for any advertising purposes.

5. Storage of the flag

Which is the best way to store the flag?

  1. The flag should be stored properly and respectfully, not in a manner that permits it to be soiled, damaged, or easily torn.
  2. When being stored, the flag should be folded neatly and ritually.
  3. When it’s torn, the flag should be cleaned and mended appropriately.
  4. When the flag is so worn out that it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a respectable and honorable manner.

6. Parading and saluting the flag

When it is being carried in a procession, the flag should always be to the right of the marchers. When it is being carried with other flags, the flag of the United States of America should be centered in front of the others or always carried to the right.

7. Special occasions

How should one treat the flag during special occasions? It should be hoisted half-staff when mourning principal or designated government leaders or upon a presidential order.

  1. When hoisted half-staff, the flag should first be raised to the peak and then lowered to half-staff position. When being lowered, it should first be flown to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
  2. When used to cover a casket, the flag should never be lowered to the grave. It should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder.

8. Displaying the flag indoors

When the flag is displayed indoors, it should be accorded a place of honor and always placed to the right.

  1. It should be placed to the right of the speaker or sanctuary while all other flags are on the left.
  2. When placed with other flags, the flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group.

The American flag should be respected all the time. Every person, whether a citizen or non-citizen, should observe the rules concerning it, as it is a symbol of the nation. Respect is key!


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