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Did you know that 60% of Americans expressed support for traditional measures of patriotism like honoring service members, saluting the US flag, and respecting values like freedom? Even though Americans might be divided in a lot of ways, it seems like the majority still cares for and loves their country very much.

One way you can show your patriotism for the US is by hanging the American flag in your home. But there are a lot of ways your flag hanging could end up disrespecting your nation. Read on for some tips on how to hang a flag respectfully. 

Hanging the Flag

When flag hanging, ensure that the stars representing the 50 states (the union) on the American flag are on the TOP LEFT of the flag. This is an absolute requirement when hanging a flag.

If you end up hanging a flag upside down or backward, you are indicating to the world that you are in extreme distress or danger or your property and house are in danger. Of course, you wouldn’t want to indicate these things, unless they are true. 

Also, do not ever hang your US flag horizontally, because this is a sign of disrespect. 

Hanging the US Flag with Other Flags

Maybe you are part of a fraternity or sorority, or you have heritage from another country, or maybe you just like hanging different fun flags on your property. Whatever might be the case, there is a certain etiquette to be followed when hanging the US flag next to other flags. 

The US flag should always get hung to the right of any other flag and no other flag should get hung higher than the American one. Make sure that you follow the same rules when displaying the flags on a wall – the American flag should be the rightmost flag and it should not get hung lower than the other flags present on the flag display. 

Taking Care in Inclement Weather

American flags need to be treated with the utmost care, and this applies especially if you live in a city or county with extreme weather conditions, be it extreme heat or cold. The problem with your precious flag being exposed to such weather conditions is that it could ruin your flag and lead to it being retired. 

If you haven’t chosen an all-weather flag, then you need to take down your flag every time there’s inclement weather, so your flag doesn’t get affected by the snow, rain, sleet, hail, or harsh sun. 

Hanging a Flag on a Flagpole

One great way to highlight your American flag is by putting it on a flagpole. Flagpoles will ensure that your flag flies high and proud all day and all night long. There are many different kinds of flagpoles on the market, so make sure you choose one that suits your needs and aesthetics.

There are certain rules to follow with flagpoles though. You will need to take down your flag at night if it’s on a flagpole unless you have a light shining on it at all times. You could have a light in your garden that turns on at night and shines upon the flag if you don’t want to bother taking it down every night.   

Thus, your flag needs to be hoisted up at sunrise and lowered down at sunset every day until it’s illuminated.

Also, even though it isn’t required for civilians, it’s highly recommended you place the US flag at half-staff on certain days of the year. These being:

  • May 30 – Memorial Day – your flag should be half-staff from dawn to noon
  • September 11 (quite self-explanatory why this is the case)
  • December 7 – Pearl Harbor Day
  • May 15 – Peace Officers Memorial Day

Again, civilians don’t need to do so, but it would greatly show your patriotic nature to your neighbors and the nation if you partake in such flag-hanging activities. 

There might be some special days where the President asks the nation to put their American flags at half-staff. It could be when a current or former President or government official passes away. Place the flag exactly halfway between the top and the bottom of the flagpole.

You don’t need to be paranoid about this halfway point – as long as it looks like it’s halfway, it should be good enough. No need to bring out the measuring ruler.

Retiring a Flag

If your flag gets old or is torn, it must be retired. A flag that’s not in good shape is not allowed to be flown anymore. That’s an unwritten but important rule to follow.

A flag must always fly in a dignified manner and an old or torn-up flag cannot do so.

When you retire a flag, you have to perform a ceremony to do so. Burning the flag is the most respectful way. You don’t have to do it in any particular protocol – make sure you burn the flag in a private or non-public location and do it in a dignified manner. 

If you are part of a troop, then you could retire all your flags together, but that’s not a necessity at all. You can retire your flag whenever you think it’s time.

Flag Hanging Has Particular Protocol Associated with It

You might have not known how complicated and intricate flag hanging is, but there’s a reason for it. If the US flag didn’t have specific rules associated with hanging it, then people could be flying flags willy-nilly without any care for how it’s done.

To keep things consistent and to show appropriate respect to this important symbol of the American nation, following flag-hanging protocol is quite essential. 

Did you find this article informative and actionable? We have many other articles on related topics on our website, so keep reading.

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