Below is some information on ways Americans show respect for the United States Flag. We will add to this list occasionally. Please contact us with suggestions for material to include.
Folding the Flag:
When not on full display on a staff or flag pole, the United State's flag should be folded in a very precise manner. The way in which the flag is folded is rich with history and tradition. (Information available in our Info Center)
Parading and Saluting:
The U.S. flag is customarily carried to the right , or centered in the front, of all other marchers in a procession. As the procession passes, everyone in its presence customarily faces the U.S. flag and salutes. Anyone in military uniform customarily gives the flag a military salute, and those not in uniform place their right hands over their hearts.
The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem:
United States citizens customarily stand at attention and face the United States flag when the Pledge of Allegiance is being recited or the National Anthem being performed.
Respect of the Flag:
The United States Flag Code has specific instructions for ways the flag should be cared for and respected. They include the following:
The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is to be flown upside down only as a distress signal.
The flag should not be used as a drapery or for covering a speaker's desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Red, white and blue- stripped bunting should be used for these purposes instead. The blue stripes of that bunting should be displayed on top.
The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.
The flag should never have place on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
Disposal of the Flag:
Flags that are worn or tattered should be destroyed in a dignified burning. American Legion Posts, and Boy and Girl Scouts routinely conduct flag burning ceremonies on Flag Day. If you have a flag that needs to be retired, you should contact your post or troop for more information.
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