History of the American Flag
to Correctly Fold the Flag
The federal flag code says the universal
custom is to display the U.S. flag from
sunrise to sunset on buildings and
stationary flagstaffs in the open, but
when a patriotic effect is desired the
flag may be displayed 24-hours a day if
properly illuminated during the hours of
darkness. Also, the U.S. flag should not
be displayed when the weather is
inclement, except when an all-weather
flag is displayed.
DISPLAYING THE FLAG
Never use the flag for decoration. Use
bunting with the blue on top, then
white, then red.
When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a
window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half
When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag
- of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at
the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy
personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.
When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung
vertically, with the union to the north
or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's
union should be farthest from the building.
U.S. flag goes to its own right. Flags of other nations are
flown at same height. When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be
displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should
be raised and lowered simultaneously.
The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another
When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on
separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States
is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right. The other flags may be smaller but
none may be larger. No other flag ever should be placed above it.
The Texas Flag is the only State flag that can fly at same height
as the American Flag, all other state flags should be lower.
The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and
the last to be lowered.
On special days, the flag may be flown at half-staff. On
Memorial Day it is flown at half-staff until noon and then raised.
Only the President of the United States
or Congress can authorize the flag to be
flown at half staff. For
remembrance of Post Members, if there is
a second flag pole, the Post Flag can be
flown at half staff.
flag to marchers right (observer's
On Same Staff
U.S. flag at peak, above any other flag.
On Speaker's Platform
When displayed with a speaker's platform, it must be above
and behind the speaker. If mounted on a staff it is on the speaker's right.
Over a Street
Union (stars) face north or east
depending on the direction of the
and Lowering the Flag
The flag should be raised briskly and
lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be
illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is
hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the
last note of music, whichever is the longest.
All persons present in uniform should
render the military salute. Members of
the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military
salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over
the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left
shoulder, the hand being over the heart.
With the passage of the February 2008
Defense Authorization Act, specifically
Section 1877 which amended Title 4, U.S.
Code, veterans may now salute the U.S.
Flag during the ceremony of hoisting or
lowering the flag or when the flag is
passing in a parade or in review. In
September 2008, Congress passed and the
President signed the 2009 Defense
Authorization Act which included Section
595 and added the playing of the
National Anthem to the occasions for a
military hand salute by veterans. Later
legislation is planned to add the Pledge
of Allegiance. The VFW encourages all
veterans to render a hand salute under
these circumstances, regardless of their
headgear or lack of headgear.
THE FLAG IN MOURNING
To place the flag at half staff, hoist
it to the peak for an instant and lower
it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again
to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff
until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.
The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated,
principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.
When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at
the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.
THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND NATIONAL ANTHEM
The Pledge of Allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention,
facing the flag, and saluting. When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at
attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed
toward the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.
FLAG DO NOT'S
Do not let the flag touch the ground.
Do not fly flag upside down unless there is an emergency.
Do not carry the flag flat, or carry things in it.
Do not use the flag as clothing.
Do not store the flag where it can get dirty.
Do not use it as a cover.
Do not fasten it or tie it back. Always allow it to fall free.
Do not draw on, or otherwise mark the flag.
New Year's Day, January 1st
Inauguration Day, 3rd Monday in January
Martin Luther King's Birthday, January 20th
Lincoln's Birthday, February 12th
President's Day, 3rd Monday in February
Easter Sunday, Varies
Patriots Day, April 19
National Day of Prayer, the 1st Thursday of May
Mother's Day, 2nd Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day, 3rd Saturday in May
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), Last Monday in May
Flag Day and Army Day, June 14th
Father's Day, 3rd Sunday in June
Independence Day, July 4th
Labor Day, 1st Monday in September
Patriot Day (half staff), September 11th
Constitution Day and Air Force Day, September 17th
Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October
Navy Day, October 27th
Marine Corp Day, November 10th
Veterans Day, November 11th
Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (half staff), December 7th
Christmas Day, December 25th
Days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
State and Local Holidays
Proper flag disposal known as a Flag Retirement
Ceremony is one of the many patriotic duties VFW
Posts conduct nationwide. Old, weathered, faded,
ripped or torn flags should be replaced with a
flag. A retired flag deserves to be treated with the
respect for it still represents our great
When the flag is worn out or otherwise no longer a
fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed
in a dignified way. Cypress Department of Iowa VFW
provides the community with a method for the proper
disposal of their flags. Bring your flag to
Post, there is a flag drop off box
inside the Post near the concession
This VFW post will dispose of the United States of
America Flag with dignity, with the proper
procedures designated by the United States
CONDUCTING YOUR OWN FLAG RETIREMENT CEREMONY
If you want to conduct your own Flag
Retirement Ceremony, here are some
suggested procedure for disposing of a retired flag with respect and dignity.
The flag should be folded in its customary manner.
It is important that the fire be fairly large and sufficient intensity to
ensure a complete burning of the flag.
Place the flag on the fire.
The individual(s) may come to attention, salute the flag (right over your
heart or military salute),
recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and have a brief period of silent
After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely
extinguished and the ashes
Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or
HISTORY OF THE BLUE STAR BANNER
history of the Blue Star Banner leads us
back to World War I and Army Captain
Robert. L Queissner. Captain Queissner
designed this service flag to represent
his two sons which were serving on the
front line during this war.
The Blue Star Banner became an
unofficial way to show that your family
had a child in the services. Over time
the flag has transitioned to simply
represent any family member who is
serving in the Armed Forces at a time of
war or hostility.
In 1918 President Wilson added, from a suggestion by the Women's Committee
of the Council of National Defense, that
if the family member was lost while
serving that the blue star was to be
covered with a GOLD STAR. The blue would
be symbolic of hope and the gold would
symbolize sacrifice for freedom.
In World War II, the Blue Star Banner
became very popular and could be seen in
almost every window in which it was
applicable. The Banner is traditionally
hung in the window of a home as to allow
all who pass the residence to view it
and know the family has a member at war.
It is known that only immediate family
members of the person serving in the
United States Armed Forces are to
display the flag.
The list of expectable relation
includes: grandparents, wife, husband,
mother, father, step parent, adopted
parent, foster parent, child, stepchild,
adopted child, brothers, sisters, and
half brothers and sisters. In 2001 on
the historic day of 9/11, this flag
became an official representation for a
family to display to symbolize a serving
member in the Armed Forces and was to be
hung through the duration of a period of
war or hostility.
For more information on Flag Etiquette,
The Gettysburg we site has information