Are You Correctly Flying Your American Flag When it's at Half-staff?

Coming into the new year, it’s important to not only know when to display your American Flag at half-staff but also to know the rules—the protocol around it.

First things first, what is the difference between a flag holiday and a half-staff day?

Of course, at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® we believe that the American Flag should be proudly displayed outdoors every day that weather permits. But there are also special holidays and days of recognition when it is especially important to fly your Outdoor American Flag. These days are called flag flying holidays, or American Flag holidays. Generally, on these days, the American Flag is displayed at full staff; however, there are a few exceptions, such as Memorial Day, when the flag is flown at half-staff from dawn to noon and then raised to full-staff until the end of the day.

Half-staff days are specific days when the President of the United States decrees that the flag should be flown at half-staff, or in the vertical middle of the Outdoor Commercial Flagpole. This is done out of respect, honor, and recognition.  

You can view and download the full calendar of Flag Holidays here.

What does the U.S. Flag Code say?

Essentially, the U.S. Flag Code states that the American Flag should be flown at half-staff nationwide upon the order of our President or statewide upon proclamation by a State Governor. Every other day that weather permits, the American Flag should proudly fly at the top of the pole.

The Flag Code also specifies the manner of raising and lowering the flag. On days that the flag is to be flown at half-staff, it should always first be quickly raised to the top of the flag pole and then slowly lowered back down to the middle. Each night the flag is taken down, it should once again be quickly raised to the top of the pole and slowly lowered all the way down to prepare for folding and storage.

For more information about the specifics of the U..S Flag Code, you can read the full code here.



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