Homeowners American Flag Etiquette


You have accomplished the American Dream of homeownership or plan to someday soon. Because we live in a country where homeownership is a possibility, consider display your pride in America by displaying Old Glory in your home and outside your home. Before you do, take a moment and learn some simple flag etiquette. If our country’s military, police, fireman and others have treated our flag with respect for more than 200 years, we should too.

Before learning flag etiquette here are a few interesting facts:

  • Did you know Missouri was added to the flag as the 24th star on August 10, 1821?
  • Did you know our current flag (Hawaii added as the 50th states) was put into effect on August 21, 1959, which was less than eight months after Alaska was added as the 49th state?
  • Did you know there is strict U.S. Code on on standards and handling of our flag? There is no federal penalty for breaking the U.S. Code, but some states do have laws.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when displaying your Stars and Strips at your home:

  1. The American flag should be hung from a staff on your wall, windowsill or balcony angled out. There are many brackets available for holding a flagstaff to trim.
  2. Do not allow the flag to touch the ground, become soiled or damaged.
  3. It is appropriate to hang Old Glory from a horizontal staff.
  4. Be sure the union or canton (rectangle of stars) is at the peak.
  5. Union hanging downward indicates extreme distress and can be used in place of “half-staff.”
  6. When hanging the flag on the wall or anywhere that only one side of the flag is seen, the union must be in the upper left. This includes when hanging the flag with stripes going vertically.
  7. The U.S. Flag can be displayed 24 hours as long as it is illuminated.
  8. The U.S. Flag must be displayed higher than other flags except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, or for personnel of the Navy, when the church pennant may be flown above.

Other interesting facts:

The U.S. Code prohibits that the flag be “printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.” Many in our society have become enthusiast of the American Flag and this rule have overlooked this code.

Whatever you do, treat your U.S. Flag with respect. We would not have this great country if it were not for those that have fought and died for our freedoms.