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The Correct Way to Display and Handle the American Flag

The American flag is a symbol of our country’s strength, pride and unity, and the 14th of this month, we celebrate Flag Day as a way to honor the flag and those qualities. Many people across the country will be displaying the flag at home and in their offices. Because many people feel improperly displaying and caring for the American flag is disrespectful, it’s important for you to know there are certain guidelines to follow.

Because many people feel improperly displaying and caring for the American flag is disrespectful, it's important for you to know there are certain guidelines to follow.

Here are some things to remember when displaying, handling and disposing of the flag:

  • The flag should only be displayed from sunrise to sunset. If a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed overnight, but only if properly illuminated during the night hours.
  • No other flag or pennant should be placed above or to the right of the US flag.
  • Always display the flag with the blue union field up. Displaying the flag upside down is a signal of distress.
  • When displaying the flag either horizontally or vertically against a wall or in a window, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right.
  • The flag should always be kept clean and never touch the ground, the floor or water.
  • The only proper way to dispose of an old, ratty or ripped flag is to burn it. Contact your local VFW for information on their flag disposal ceremony.

This Flag Day, fly your flag with pride and honor the tangible symbol of our nation and the freedoms we have.

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