Old Glory: Flag Etiquette

The rules regarding flag etiquette are straight forward.  Unfortunately, in our country many people are not taught or do not have enough pride of country to respect the rules of the flag that symbolizes our great nation and all that for which we stand.

You have surely been to a sporting event or other gathering where the national anthem was played and many attendees stood about talking instead of facing the flag, hand over heart. Here we cover a few of the basic rules of respect for the flag that everyone should know.  There are many other official regulations.  These represent only the most likely to be used by the average person.  I have paraphrased them for quick bullet points.  You can find more information at the

Flag of the United States of America



... national pride.

The flag:

  • should never be displayed with the union (field of stars) down. The only exception is in times of dire distress. 
  • should never be carried flat or horizontally.
  • should never touch the ground, floor, or anything beneath it.
  • should never be worn as apparel.
  • should never be used as bunting, but bunting can be used in flag colors (blue top, white middle, red bottom).
  • should never be displayed at a position that is not equal or of superior prominence to another flag.
  • should never be used for receiving, holding, or carrying anything.
  • should never be used for advertising.
  • should be given a military salute by uniformed military personnel (military personnel out of uniform and veterans optional) and should be honored by facing it at attention with right hand over heart by all citizens when it passes. 
  • should be discarded in a dignified manner when it is no longer a fitting emblem for display. Contact you local VFW hall for information.