US Navy

How to display the Flag of the United States

Source: Our Flag, U.S. Congress

How should the U.S. flag be honored? How should it be displayed? The following provides that information:

Saluting the flag
Salute the flag when it is six paces from the viewer and hold it until the flag has passed six paces beyond. Salute the flag at the first note of the National Anthem and hold the salute until the last note is played. Never use a flag as a decoration -- use bunting.
When in civilian attire - MEN remove hats and hold at left shoulder with hand over heart; without hat, place right hand, palm open, over heart. WOMEN should place right hand, palm open, over heart. When in athletic clothing, face the flag or music, remove hat or cap and stand at attention; a hand salute is not given.
Carrying the flag
When marching - Carry the flag on the right in any procession or parade. If there are many other flags, carry the flag in the front center position.
If you are carrying a flag - Hold the flag at a slight angle from your body. You can also carry it with one hand and rest it on your right shoulder.
Displaying the flag outdoors
On a vehicle -- Attach the flag to the antenna or clamp the flagstaff to the right fender. Do not lay the flag over the vehicle.
On a building -- Hang the flag on a staff or on a rope over the sidewalk with the stars away from the building.
Over the street -- Hang the flag with the stars to the east on a north- south street or north on an east-west street.
Above other flags -- Hang the flag above any other flag on the same pole
Other flags, separate poles -- Hang all flags on equal poles. Hang the U.S. flag on its own right, hoist it first and lower it last.
In a window -- Hang the flag vertically with the stars to the left of anyone looking at it from the street.
Half-mast -- This is a sign of mourning. Raise the flag to the top of the pole then lower it to the half way point. Before lowering the flag, raise it to the top again at the end of the day.
Upside down -- An upside-down flag is considered a distress signal.
Displaying the flag indoors
Multiple staffs -- If you display the flag on a staff with other flags around it, place the flag at the center and highest point. Crossed staffs - Keep the flagstaff higher and on its own right.
Behind a speaker -- Hang the flag flat on the wall. Do not decorate the podium or table with the flag. Use bunting for decoration.
Next to a speaker -- Place the flag in a stand on the speaker's right. Use the same placement for a religious service.
In a hall or lobby -- Hang the flag vertically across from the main entrance with the stars to the left of anyone coming through the door.
On a casket -- Drape the flag with its canton at the head and over the left shoulder of the body. Do not lower the flag into the grave.

Last Update: 23 July 2009