American Flag Display Made Easy

How am I supposed to display my American flag?

It happens all the time: An American flag is purchased or moved to a new location and, upon arrival, the head scratching begins. "How am I supposed to display my American flag?"

Luckily, this handy guide will cover just about every display scenario you might come across. If it doesn't, send us a message and we will make additions! So whether you have no idea what to do, or you just want to make sure you were right all along, read on and learn how to properly display an American flag. . .

Flag anatomy you need to know.

Canton — On an American flag, the canton is the blue field with white stars. The canton is also known as the "union" or "field of stars."

Stripes — On an American flag, the stripes consist of the red and white stripes. The stripes are often used as a reference to the flag's vertical or horizontal orientation.

Proper display of the American flag indoors.

Behind a speaker — Whether hung with the stripes horizontal or vertical, the canton should be to the observer's left.

Next to a speaker — Place the American flag in a stand on the speaker’s right (observer's left). Use the same placement for a religious service.

Multiple staffs — Display the American flag on a staff with other flags around it. Place the American flag at the center and highest point.

Crossed staffs — Keep the flagstaff displaying the American flag higher and on its own right.

In a hall or lobby — Hang the American flag vertically or horizontally above the main entrance with the canton to the left of anyone entering through the door.

On a casket — Drape the American flag with its canton at the head and over the left shoulder of the body.

Proper display of the American flag outdoors.

Above other flags on one pole— Hang the American flag above any other flag on the same pole.

With other flags on separate poles — Hang all of the flags on equal poles. Hang the United States flag on its own right. Hoist the American flag first and lower it last. When the American flag is displayed with United States Military flags, the display order from the viewer's left to right is; United States, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard.

Half-staff — Flying the American flag at half-staff is a sign of mourning. Briskly raise the United States flag to the top of the pole, then lower it to the half-staff position. Before lowering the flag completely, raise it to the top again at sunset on the day that ends the period of observation.

On a building — Hang the American flag on a staff or on a rope over the sidewalk or lawn with the canton positioned away from the building.

In a window — Whether hung with the stripes horizontal or vertical, orient the American flag with the canton to the left of anyone looking at it from outside of the window.

Over the street — Hang the American flag with the canton to the east on a north-south street, or with the canton to the north on an east-west street.

Upside down — An upside-down American flag is considered a signal of dire distress and is only used in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

Lapel pin — Wear the American flag pin on the left lapel, pocket, or shirt clothing with the canton positioned closest to the wearer's heart.

Patch (like a soldier's uniform) — Place the American flag patch on the right sleeve so that the canton is to the viewer's right. Place the American flag patch on the left sleeve so that the canton is to the viewer’s left.

On a vehicle — Attach the American flag to the antenna or clamp the flag staff to the right fender. Do not lay the flag over the vehicle. American flags should be removed from vehicles at night due to lack of proper illumination. When patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed on an automobile 24 hours a day if the flag is properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

Decal on a vehicle in horizontal direction — On the driver’s side, place the American flag decal so that the canton is seen to the viewer’s left. On the passenger’s, side place the flag decal so that the canton is seen to the viewer’s right. The stripes should be positioned closest to the rear of the vehicle on both passenger and driver side.

Photo call!

Send us your pictures of American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.

Do you have suggestions for information you'd like to see here? If so, please send them our way!

Please send all of your suggestions or questions to service@LibertyFlags.com. We want to hear from you!

Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.


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