Flying the Flag—Proud and Proper

Before you proudly wave the stars and stripes, learn the etiquette of properly displaying, storing, and caring for your flag.

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  1. Take Pride

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    Happy Flag Day, America! Whether you're flying Old Glory for the day or for the rest of the summer, follow these guidelines to be sure that you're doing so properly, in a way that communicates respect for the country you call home.

  2. Displaying the Flag


    If you're displaying the flag on a staff that projects horizontally or at an angle, place the union—the blue rectangle with its 50 stars—at the peak of the staff (unless the flag is purposefully being flown at half-mast).

  3. On a Pole

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    Don't let the flag touch the ground or any other object, as you hoist it onto, or take it off, the flag pole. (When taking the flag down, it's helpful to have a helper on hand.) Neatly fold and store the flag until next time.

  4. Horizontal


    Hanging the flag horizontally over a flat surface? Be sure to position the union so that it appears over the left shoulder of an observer.

  5. Vertical


    When hanging the flag vertically, again make sure that the union appears over the left shoulder of an observer.

  6. At Night


    Either clearly illuminate the flag at night or take it down before sunset.

  7. Half-Staff


    Fly the flag at half-staff from sunrise until noon on Memorial Day and on days specially ordered by the President (to indicate national mourning or respect). To fly the flag at half-staff, briskly raise it to the top of the staff first, then lower it to the middle of the pole. Raise the flag to full-staff again before taking it down.

  8. In a Window


    When displaying the flag in a window, orient the flag so that, to the viewer on the street, the union appears in the upper left.

  9. Bunting


    The flag should not be festooned—that is, drawn back or folded for decoration—according to the U.S. Flag Code. Instead, use red,white, and blue bunting.


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