It is not illegal or improper to fly any flag (state, ethnic group, organization, etc.) alone but it is always preferable
to display the US flag at the same time.
When carried in a procession with another flag or flags, the American flag should be at the right front of the column.
When there is a line of other flags, the American flag should be in front of the center of that line.
When a number of flags are grouped and displayed from staffs, the flag of the US should be in the center or at the highest
point of the group. When displayed with another flag from crossed staffs, the flag of the US should be on the right (the
flag's own right), and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
The US flag is raised before all other flags and lowered last.
When flags of states or cities or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag, the flag should
always be at the peak. When flown from adjacent staffs, the American flag should be raised first and lowered last.
If displaying a group of flags together in a row, the order from left to right is: American flag, other national flags in
alphabetical order, state flags, county and city flags, organizational flags and personal flags.
When the flags of the Armed forces are displayed, they should be arranged (from the viewpoint of the observer facing them)
from left to right as Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
When displaying a group of flags, the American flag should only be in the center if the center pole is higher than the
Men and women should stand and salute the flag at the following times:
At the moment the flag passes in a parade or review.
Facing the flagpole during the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag.
Facing the flag when the National Anthem is played. If the flag is not displayed, all those present should face
toward the music.
During the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Men should remove their hats with the right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, with the hand being over the heart. Women
and men without hats should place the right hand over the heart. Women are not required to remove their hats. Those who are not
US citizens should simply stand at attention.
Current flag protocol allows veterans to salute the flag as military personnel do, with a military-style hand salute, if they choose.
If veterans prefer, they may hold their right hand over their heart, as civilians do.
"Half-staff" is the point midway between the top and bottom of the flagstaff. The flag is flown at half-staff by order of the
President of the United States upon the death of principle figures in the national or state government, other officials, leading citizens, or
foreign dignitaries, as a mark of respect to their memory. The governor of a state, territory, or possession may also
proclaim that the national flag be flown at half-staff.
Private citizens and non-government buildings may choose to fly their flags at half-staff to honor more local leaders or organization
members. There does not need to be authorization from the government for the private sector to use the flag display to honor any citizen.
If one flag is at half-staff in mourning, other flags flown with it should be removed or also flown at half-staff.
When flown at half-staff on a vertical pole, the flag should be raised briskly to the top for a moment, then immediately lowered to the
half-staff position. It should be raised to the peak again for a moment before it is lowered for the day.
With a telescoping pole, the flag can be placed on the second set of rings instead of the top set, so that the top set would
be left empty.
For flags that can't be lowered, often flown at homes, the American Legion says that attaching a black ribbon or streamer to the
top of the flag, below the finial, is an acceptable alternative to flying at half-staff. The ribbon should be the same width as a stripe on the flag and
the same length as the flag.
For wall mounted flags, three black mourning bows should be attached to the top edge of the flag, one at each corner and one in the
When a flag is old, worn, tattered, or frayed and no longer is in a condition befitting a symbol of our country, it should
be destroyed privately in a dignified matter, preferably by burning. Many veteran and civic organizations, such as the
American Legion or local VFW, will properly dispose of a flag at no cost, or can put you in contact with an approved disposal
The flag should be at least 1/4 of the height of the pole.
The United States Code is the official compilation of Federal laws of a general and permanent nature, divided into 50 titles by subject matter. Subject 4
is "Flag and Seal, Seat of Government, and the States."
Prior to Flag Day, June 14, 1923, there were no federal or state regulations governing display of the United States flag. It was on this date that the
National Flag Code was adopted. However, it was not until June 22, 1942 (amended on December 22, 1942) that exact rules for use and display of the flag
became Public Law 829, Chapter 806, 77th Congress, 2nd session.