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.

Take Pride

American Flag Houses

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.

Displaying the Flag

Flag House

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).

On a Pole

Flag Pole

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.


Horizontal Flag

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.


Vertical Flag

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

At Night

Flag at Night

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


Flag at 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.

In a Window

Flag in 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.



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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