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Did you know that Flag Day commemorates the date that the first national flag design was approved in 1777? However, the holiday wasn’t created until over a hundred years later, and it all started with a schoolteacher in 1885 encouraging his students to think of Flag Day as the flag’s birthday.  

If you’re planning to display a flag for Flag Day or as a permanent feature, you want to know how to display an American flag correctly. Keep reading to learn about the proper way to display an American flag. 

The Flag Code

Displaying an American flag isn’t as simple as tossing it on a pole. In 1942 congress passed a joint resolution called the U.S Flag Code. 

The code discusses how Americans should treat and honor the flag. It covers many guidelines, including how to display an American flag. The code was passed to encourage Americans to celebrate and honor the symbol of the flag. 

How to Display an American Flag

How you set up your American flag display is dependent on where you want to display it. We have some American flag display tips based on the Flag Code. 

The first thing to remember is that when you display your flag, it needs to be flat if it’s not being flown from a staff. Or, the folds in the flag need to fall freely as if it were on a staff. 

On a Casket

When a loved one who served the country passes away, there are excellent US Military flags that you can drape over their casket. The union or the top left corner needs to be at the head and over the left shoulder when covering the casket. 

Vertically or Horizontally 

You can also hang a flag vertically or horizontally on a window, wall, or door. When you do this, you need to ensure that the union is to the left when you’re observing the flag. 


You’ve probably seen a procession with flags before. The Flag Code dictates where in the procession the American flag should be. 

It needs to be to any other flag’s right (the flag’s right). It also needs to be in the front and center if in a line of other flags. 

A Staff

Do you have a staff that juts out from a building that you want to display your flag on? If that’s your choice, you need to ensure that the union is at the peak of the staff it’s hung from. 

Over the Street

If you’re hanging flags over the street, the flag needs to be hung vertically. On an east and west street, the union needs to be towards the North. 

On a north and south street, the union should be towards the east. 

On a Platform

If you’re setting up a platform for an event, your flag needs to get set above and behind your speaker. The union should be at the top, and when facing the flag, the union should be on your left. 

On a church or auditorium staff, stand on your stage and face the audience. Your flag needs to go to your right when you’re facing the audience. This is considered a position of honor. 

Display Your American Flag With Pride

Learning how to display an American flag is easy. The hard part is deciding where you want to display it. 

Was our American flag display guide helpful? Continue exploring your interests by reading more of our unique content. 

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