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Army Navy Surplus Store
Serving San Diego
619-295-1181

619-295-1181
Serving San Diego
619-295-1181

619-295-1181

6 Important Guidelines for Displaying the American Flag

If you're thinking about buying an American flag, you may be wondering if there are any guidelines on how to display it. The United States Flag Code includes a number of advisements on how to fly the US flag respectfully. Here's a look at the key considerations you may want to know.
1. Positioning                                  
If you hang the flag horizontally, such as on a flagpole, you should always hang it upright. Traditionally, displaying the flag upside down is a sign of distress. If you display the flag vertically, such as hanging it on a wall, the stars should be at the top of the flag and to the observer's left.
In addition, if you are flying a US flag with a state flag, military flag, or several other types of flags, the US flag should always fly above the other flag or flags. If the flags are on separate poles, the US flag should be on the right. If you decide to fly a flag from another country, that can be on the same level as the US flag, but you should raise the US flag first and lower it last.
2. Timing
The United States Flag Code recommends only displaying the flag from sunrise to sunset, but it also says you can display the flag at night for patriotic purposes. To err on the side of respect, you may want to take your flag down each evening or shine some landscaping lights on it. If you physically can't put the flag up and down each day, don't worry too much—as indicated above, the code has a caveat for flying the flag at night.
3. Raising and Lowering
Traditionally, when you raise the flag on a flagpole, you should hoist it briskly. At the end of the day, you should lower it slowly and ceremoniously. You may want to keep that pace in mind when putting up or taking down a flag on a staff as well.
4. Flying at Half-Staff
If you fly an American flag on a flagpole, you may occasionally fly your flag at half-staff. The flag code recommends flying the flag at half-staff upon the death of a president or former president as well as several other sober occasions.
However, there are also three annual days of remembrance where the flag should be flown at half-staff: Patriot Day (September 11th), Memorial Day (May 15th), and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (December 7th).  If your flagpole doesn't accommodate flying the flag at half-mast, you may fly a black ribbon with the flag.
5. Displaying
As indicated above, you can respectfully hang a US flag from a wall, but you should never use it to cover a ceiling. According to the code, you should also not set anything on the US flag. For example, out of respect, the flag should not be used as a tablecloth.
6. Dealing With Homeowner's Associations
Finally, if you are worried about the rules of your neighborhood association or landlord, don't be. In 2006, the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act was signed into law. Based on that law, no HOA, housing co-operative, condo board, or rental management company can restrict you from flying a flag.

If you're interested in buying an American flag, a flagpole, or other flag-related accessories, come down to Bargain Center. We have a range of flags, including the California state flag, the Gadsden flag, POW/MIA flags, and gay pride flags as well as historical flags, military flags, and international flags. Our knowledgeable sales staff is always ready to answer your questions and help you find what you need.