Etiquette of Displaying the Flag1. When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
2. The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right [that means the viewer's left --Webmaster], and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
3. The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By "half-staff" is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the President of the United States.
4. When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the right of the flag of the United States (the viewer's left). When the flag is half-masted, both flags are half-masted, with the US flag at the mid-point and the other flag below.
5. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
6. When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.
7. When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
8. When the flag is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes or drapings are desired, bunting of blue, white and red should be used, but never the flag.
9. That the flag, when carried in a procession with another flag, or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
10. The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
11. When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace. The order of precedence for flags generally is National flags (US first, then others in alphabetical order in English), State (host state first, then others in the order of admission) and territories (Washington DC, Puerto Rico, etc.), Military (in order of establishment: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard), then other.
12. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium on or off a podium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker (to the right of the audience). Please note that the old guidelines differed from this updated and simplified one.
13. When the flag is displayed on a car, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
14. When hung in a window, place the blue union in the upper left, as viewed from the street.
- Flags Mart
GLOSSARY OF FLAGBADGE: An emblem or other device displayed on a flag, generally in the fly.
BANNER: A rectangular flag used by a king, prince, duke, or other noble. The coat of arms of the owner covers the banner's entire surface. The term is also loosely applied to a national flag (e.g., the "star-Spangled Banner") and is today synonymous with flag.
BOW: The forward section of a ship.
CANTON: The four quarters of a flag are named cantons, especially the upper quarter of the hoist, that is, the upper left hand corner of the flag; the canton is sometimes also called the union
COAT OF ARMS: The armorial and/or other heraldic badges of an owner displayed on a cloak or shield.
COLORS: The national and regimental or armorial flags carried by dismounted organizations (such as a color guard). Hence, the national color for Army and Marine Corps regiments is the U.S. flag. The term also applies to the national ensign flown aboard a naval vessel.
ENSIGN: A special flag based on a country's national flag and used exclusively on naval ships or merchant ships. The civil ensign is the merchant marine's flag. The U.S. flag serves as a national flag, naval ensign, and civil ensign. Great Britain, on the other hand, has a white ensign for naval ships, a red ensign for merchant ships, and a blue ensign for merchant ships commanded by an officer in the Naval Reserve. Great Britain also has an ensign for the Royal Air Force and one for airports.
ESTOILE: A six-pointed, usually wavy, star.
FIELD: The ground of each division of a flag.
FLY: The edge of a flag farthest from the staff.
FOREMAST: The mast nearest the bow of a sailing ship.
GARRISON: A military installation, such as a fort. Also, the troops stationed there.
GARRISON FLAG: A large U.S. flag flown at forts. During the war of 1812, garrison flags were 20 feet by 40 feet. The Star-Spangled Banner measured 30 feet by 42 feet.
HALYARD: The rope by which a flag is raised on a flagpole.
HOIST: (N.) The edge of a flag nearest the staff. (vb.) To raise a flag.
HOIST ROPE: The rope on which a flag is flown on a flagpole.
JACK: A flag flown at the bow of warships when anchored. Great Britain's jack - the British Union Jack - combines the Crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick on a blue field. The U.S. Union Jack carries 50 white stars on a blue field (the canton of the Naval Ensign). According to U.S. Navy regulations, the U.S. Union Jack should be the same size as the canton of the Naval Ensign flown at the ships stern.
MAINMAST: The principal mast of a sailing ship.
MULLET: A five-pointed star, representative of a knight's spur.
SALTINE: An x-shaped cross.
SHIP OF THE LINE: in the days of sail, a naval ship that fought in the line of battle.
STAFF: A small pole from which a flag is flown.
STANDARD: A flag which is colored according to the owner's livery and displays the owner's badge or badges instead of his arms. The term "national standard" is used to describe the national and regimental flags carried by mounted or motorized organizations.
STERN: The rear of a ship.
STORM FLAG: The U.S. flag which is flown at military installations during inclement weather. It is smaller than the U.S. flag that is usually flown at the installation.
TASK FORCE: A group of naval ships such as a squadron, several squadrons, or a fleet with a specific military objective to accomplish.
UNION : A flag or device of a flag symbolizing the union of countries or states. Also, the canton of (1) the U.S. flag, (2) British ensigns, and (3) British Commonwealth flags that are based on the British ensigns.
- Flags Mart
History and Introduction of FlagFlag, piece of cloth, usually bunting or similar light material, plain, colored, or bearing a device, varying in size and shape, but often oblong or square, used as an ensign, standard, or signal or for display and decorative purposes, and generally attached at one edge to a staff or to a halyard by which it may be hoisted.
The historical origin of flags dates back to around 1000 BC, when the Egyptians used primitive versions of flags - some were even made out of wood or metal. Flags were originally used for the purpose of identification or signal to others. Flags have been important symbols on land as well as on sea. Ships started using flags at sea to signal to each other and to harbors. The military made use of flags to rally its troops. In military times, capturing an enemy's flag was considered an honorable seizure. Flags have also been used historically, many with negative consequences. For example, the Nazis used a flag decorated with a swastika. Although flags are still used for many of those reasons today, flags have also come to be used for much more.
In fact, the numerous uses for flags and their examination have become so popular that the practice of 'vexillologya', which means the academic study of flags, has been developed.
- Flags Mart
Flag CodeThe Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:
• The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
• The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
• The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
• The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
• The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
• The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.
- Flags Mart