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The Do’s and Don’ts of Flying the Star Spangled Banner

By Rebecca Barnes, Publisher Prince William Living

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Displaying the American flag is a way to show patriotism and respect for the United States. You can fly the flag at home every day or just on holidays, such as Memorial Day (May 29th), 4th of July, Labor Day (September 4th), and Veteran’s Day(November 10th). Here are some guidelines for displaying Old Glory at home.

How to display the American Flag

  1. Flag placement: The flag should be displayed in a prominent place, such as the front porch, balcony, or near a window. If displayed on a flagpole, it should be placed at the property’s highest point and be the only flag flown.
  2. Flagpole height: The flagpole should be tall enough so that the flag is easily visible from the street. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the flagpole is at least 20 feet tall.
  3. Flag size: The size of the flag should be appropriate for the flagpole. A 3×5 flag is suitable for a 20-foot pole.
  4. Flag lighting: If the flag is displayed at night, it should be illuminated. This can be done with a spotlight or floodlight.
  5. Flag etiquette: The flag should be displayed with the union (blue field with stars) facing up, except during a funeral, where it should be displayed at half-mast. The flag should not touch the ground and should not be flown in inclement weather unless it is an all-weather flag.
  6. Flag retirement: When the flag becomes tattered or faded, it should be retired in a dignified manner. Many American Legion Posts and VFW Posts, and Boy Scout troops conduct flag retirement ceremonies.

Displaying the Stars and Stripes is a historic way to show respect for the country and its veterans. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your flag display is appropriate and patriotic. For more information, visit one of the following:

 Federal Flag Code serves as a guide for civilians and civilian groups

Congressional Research Service serves as a guide for government buildings.

Rebecca Barnes is the Publisher of Prince William Living magazine and Brides & Weddings magazine. She is a lifelong resident of Prince William County and a volunteer with OWL VFD. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being a Grandma, visiting Walt Disney World, blogging at Sightseeing Sidekick, reading, and sleeping.

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