American Flag Protocol: Stars and Stripes Forever
When George Washington was just sixteen years old, he compiled 110 rules on manners that were later published in a book entitled Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation. If they were good enough for young George, they're good enough for us.
Some 250 years later, our country came under attack. Does anyone look at the American flag in the same way since September 11? Now, it's even more important not to take the stars and stripes for granted. The Rule Code for Flags states "More than simply a piece of fabric, a national flag represents the nation as a whole, and is an important symbol of national identity." Old Glory lines our streets on Veterans Day, the Fourth of July, and Memorial Day, but just how many of us really understand correct flag protocol?
Displaying the Flag Outside
The American flag should be displayed between sunrise and sunset. If flown after dark, it must be illuminated.
The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly, and we should salute the flag during both occasions. Members of the military and veterans should give a military salute; all others salute by placing their right hand over their heart.
When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers.
When more than one flag is displayed from the same flagpole, the flag of the United States must always be on top.
Displaying the Flag Inside
When it's displayed alone, the American flag should be positioned to the right of the speaker's podium or entrance.
When it's on display with flags of other nations, the American flag should be to the right and the other flags to the left. When it's on display with flags of states or other organizations, the flag should be at the center and the highest point.
When the staff of another flag crosses that of the United States, the flag of the United States is placed on the right with its staff in front of the other flag.
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