Ceremonial American Flags — Everything You Need to Know

 

What is a ceremonial flag?

A ceremonial flag is any flag that is completely trimmed in golden yellow fringe and outfitted with a lined pole pocket with tabs for attaching to a flagpole. Where possible, ceremonial flags are not printed but sewn (for example, the American flag would feature joined stripes and embroidered stars). Any flag can be furnished with decorative trimmings. Complete ceremonial American flag sets can be purchased here.

 

All year long, Americans attend a litany of celebrations. People all over the nation take part in events ranging from holiday observances to high school and college graduation ceremonies, from business meetings to dinner excursions and many, many more. Every one of these occasions will be marked with one beautiful thing in common — ceremonial flags (also known as parade or fringed flags).

What does a gold fringed flag mean?

While golden fringe adds a timeless and versatile elegance to any flag, it serves only that purpose. The fringe is used on flags solely as formal, ornamental decoration. Though a ceremonial flag definitely adds to overall decor, fringe is never regarded as an integral part of the flag’s design and stands apart from any images or lettering.

The use of ceremonial golden yellow fringe is at the discretion of the owner, and it carries no other meaning or implications.

When did we begin using ceremonial flags?

Though the use of fringe as decor on flags dates as far back as flag history itself, the earliest recorded instance of fringe on the United States flag, according to the Department of the Army, is 1835. The Army began to officially define and apply terms of use for ceremonial flags in 1895. Ceremonial military flags are available for purchase individually and in complete sets.

Some early practices have now become the norm. For example, flags that are carried in parades, used in official ceremonies or displayed in offices are now more apt to be trimmed with gold fringe than not.

Can I fly my ceremonial flag outdoors?

It is not an accepted practice to use fringe on flags that are displayed from a stationary, outdoor flagpole. Ceremonial flags may be used outdoors only briefly — during parades or outdoor observances for example. A parade carry belt is required for outdoor display. Likewise, interment flags are not typically ceremonial fringed flags.


Looking for an American Ceremonial Flag set?

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Where should I display my fringed ceremonial flag(s)?

While this list is not exhaustive, here are some of the many places we have seen ceremonial flags on display.

  • Assemblies
  • Graduation ceremonies
  • Business lobbies
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Club meeting halls
  • Convention centers
  • College offices
  • Business offices
  • Courtrooms
  • Boardrooms
  • Cafeterias
  • Gymnasiums
  • Theaters
  • Sporting events

What accessories are needed for a ceremonial or fringed flag?

Depending on the circumstances of its use, a ceremonial flag could require other accessories; the pole, the base, a parade carry belt, a flag spreader, and a dust and rain cover.

The pole — The selection of pole height is critical to the successful display of your ceremonial flag; you should select a pole height that is at least one foot shorter than the ceiling height where the flag is to be displayed (e.g., minimum of 9' ceiling for display of a ceremonial set built with an 8' pole to allow space for the ornament). Follow the link to purchase new poles for indoor display.

The base — The base (a.k.a. stand) is used with free-standing interior flags. It is a weighted device with a center bore that the display pole is inserted into. Qualities range from metal-plated plastics that are filled with sand to 18 lb. cast iron. Follow the link to purchase a new base for your ceremonial flag.

The parade carry belt —A parade carry belt is designed to increase comfort and control of the flagpole when it is being carried outside. A new parade carry belt can be purchased here.

The flag spreader — This is an accessory that many ceremonial flag owners discover that they want. A flag spreader holds the flag open so that it does not hang limp, providing a much more full and elegant presentation. Liberty Flags carries new flag spreaders here.

The dust and rain cover — A dust and rain cover is a lined carrying case for your ceremonial flag set that is intended to keep rain and dust off of the flag, the pole, and any other accessories. This is especially useful when your flag has to either travel or be stored a great deal. New dust and rain covers are sold at Liberty Flags.

The ornament — The ceremonial flag display ornament can be the decorative link between the fringed ceremonial flag and the environment it is being displayed in. View Liberty Flags' selection of ceremonial flag ornaments here.

Simply the best American Flags

As with American flags in general, the highest quality ceremonial flags will be those that are made in the U.S.A. LIBERTY FLAGS offers ceremonial American flags that are made of color brilliant 200-denier nylon with glossy white embroidered stars and precision sewn stripes. The golden yellow bullion fringe lines three sides of the flag, while a flannel-lined pole pocket with mounting tabs comprises the fourth.

Of course, you will want to refer to the U.S. Flag Code, Section 7, when displaying or carrying your ceremonial American flag with other flags.

More questions about ceremonial flags?

Take a look at this two-minute video overview.

Photo call!

Send us your pictures of ceremonial flags, 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.

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


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