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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Proper U.S. Flag Etiquette

Proper U.S. Flag Etiquette

The American flag is a symbol of the United States that holds much history and represents our country’s ideals. Coined  “Old Glory” by ship captain William Driver in the 1820’s, the flag’s official colors are now called “Old Glory Red” and “Old Glory Blue”. According to the U.S. State Department, red represents valor and bravery, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue stands for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

Since our flag was introduced in 1777, the design has undergone changes to reflect the admission of new states. Our citizens love the design and symbolism so much that U.S. flags can be found everywhere in our country: in front of houses, on cars, on clothes, in home decor, painted on fences, and more. However, a symbol so dear to our country deserves respect and American flags should be displayed and disposed of with proper etiquette.


Proper Flag Etiquette

Etiquette for Displaying the United States Flag

Did you know that there is a proper etiquette for displaying the United States flag? You can see the full U.S. Flag Code here. The American flag is a symbol of our great nation and the many lives that care for and protect it. Here’s how to display the U.S. flag properly.

  • Raised briskly and lowered ceremoniously, the flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset - but not in inclement weather.
  • The U.S. flag should always fly in light. If flown outside at night, install a solar flagpole light or have other light directed towards it.
  • If there is more than one flag on a pole, the U.S. flag should always fly above other flags and should be the same size or larger than the others, and no international flags should be flown on the same pole.
  • The field of stars should be uppermost and to the left of the observer when the flag is displayed against a wall, window, or in a vertical orientation.
  • Do not allow the flag to ever touch anything beneath it or dip the flag toward any person or object.
  • When the flag is used in ceremonies everyone, except those in uniform, should place their right hand over their heart while facing the flag.
  • Public institutions should display the flag daily and on all holidays, weather permitting, near the main administration building.
  • Schools should display the flag during school days.
  • The flag should be displayed at polling places.
  • When put away, the flag should be folded and stored in a triangular fold with the stars showing. See how to fold the flag here.

Retiring or Disposing of a Flag

Etiquette for Retiring a United States Flag

When a flag has become wind-battered, worn beyond repair, and reached the end of it’s lifespan, how should you properly retire it? According to U.S. Flag Code, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Check your local fire ordinances and the flag’s materials before conducting a flag burning ceremony at home or other private location. These ceremonies are most often conducted on Flag Day. The ceremony should begin by holding the flag in its customary manner then properly fold and place respectfully onto a fire large enough to burn the flag completely. Do not allow the flag to touch the ground in this process. As it burns, salute the flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance then pause for a moment of silence. When only ashes are left, bury the ashes.

St. Charles County Flag Collection Box

For the best safety and utmost respect when retiring your American flag, visit a community flag collection box. There’s a flag collection box in front of the St. Charles County Administration Building and another at Veterans Tribute Park. By putting your flag in one of these boxes, you can be sure that it will be destroyed ceremoniously.

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The Boehmer Team has deep respect and appreciation for the U.S. flag. We see it in the communities and homes we sell and in the hearts of the veterans, police, teachers and ordinary citizens we help every day. If you want to buy or sell American property or land to fly your very own American flag on, Contact The Boehmer Team.




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