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Flag Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for Flying the Red White and Blue

United States Flag DayMany Star-Spangled Banners will be waving in the wind this Tuesday as Americans celebrate Flag Day. Although the holiday celebrates our nation’s flag, you may not know that students who have gotten less-than-stellar grades should pay homage too. The current U.S. flag was designed by an 18-year-old high school student named Robert Heft.  His teacher only gave him a B- for his finished creation, but he challenged it declaring that if his design was accepted by Congress, he would receive an A.  Congress accepted it in 1958, and Heft got his A.

Whether it’s patriotism or because you’re an under-recognized student, learn the rules for putting your flag on display. There are many guidelines and laws on what you can and can’t do with your U.S. flag.  You may know some of the basic ones, but there are also some less well-known interesting tidbits about respecting the United States flag.

U.S. Flag Do’s:

  • Display your flag from sunrise to sunset, and only during the night if it is illuminated.
  • Let it flow freely; it should never be blocked or held still, and the union must always be up.
  • Fly it in fair weather, unless it was made for bad weather.
  • Fold your flag properly, shaped like a triangle with only stars showing.  It takes 13 folds to get it this way, which is also the number of original colonies.
  • Wash your flag if it becomes dirty. You don’t have to throw it away.
  • Burn your flag if it’s in poor condition.

U.S. Flag Dont’s:

  • Don’t let it touch the ground.  The flag must always be flowing freeing from a staff.
  • Don’t fly your flag at night unless it’s well-lit.
  • Don’t fly your flag with the union side down, unless you’re in great distress.
  • Don’t use your flag as a decoration or part of a costume or apparel.
  • Don’t deface the flag or put any mark or insignia on it.
  • Don’t use the flag as an advertisement or as a container for anything.

Happy Flag Day! For more information, visit the Senate Flag Code site for comprehensive flag rules and instructions.

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One Comment

  1. Elmer Cruz says:

    I have to admit that this is one of the best posts i have read in my entire life 🙂 I feel that you’ve covered the most important aspects in flag etiquette!