Displaying the American flag can be a great way to show patriotic spirit and inspire feelings of national pride. However, it’s crucial to follow proper etiquette when hanging the flag to ensure you treat this symbol of freedom with the respect it deserves. Here are five things to avoid when hanging your American flag.
Putting Your Flag Up in Harsh Weather
Although the American flag symbolizes resilience and endurance, do not keep it outside when conditions are particularly rough. According to the US flag code, you should not hang your flag during severe weather unless you have an all-weather flag.
You can also research tips on safeguarding your flag from poor weather, such as how to protect your American flag from snow. This knowledge will help you on days when the weather starts out fine but worsens, and you cannot take down your flag until you return home or the storm subsides.
Hanging Your Flag the Wrong Way
It’s not uncommon for people to hang the flag in a way that doesn’t follow proper flag etiquette. When hanging the American flag horizontally or vertically on a wall, the union (the blue field with the stars) should always be in the upper left corner. When flying the flag from a pole, you should place the union at the peak. Displaying the flag incorrectly is known as a signal of distress, so it’s important to get it right.
Using a Flag That You Should Replace
A worn-out or damaged flag can detract from the intended message of patriotism, unity, and respect. The flag code recommends you should replace flags when they become frayed, faded, or otherwise damaged beyond repair. If your flag needs an upgrade, be sure to invest in a new one and retire the old flag according to proper disposal methods—usually by respectfully burning it in a flag retirement ceremony.
Hanging Another Flag Above It
Something to avoid when hanging your American flag is putting another flag above it. The flag code says you should not fly other flags above the American flag on the same pole, except for church pennants during naval services. When displayed with flags that are on other poles, you should hang the American flag first and take it down last.
Leaving Your Flag Up at Night Without Lighting
If you choose to display your American flag during the nighttime hours, it must have adequate lighting. The flag should always be visible, so make sure it’s well lit when natural light is unavailable. Invest in a solar-powered flagpole light or another reliable light source to ensure people can see your flag.
Properly displaying the American flag is important for showing your respect and appreciation. Avoid these common mistakes when hanging your flag to ensure your display sends the right message.