Having an American flag
at your home shows others that you love your country. But it’s not just what others think that inspires you. Rather, it's the glory of living in the greatest country in the world.
We’re truly free in this country, just like the American flag that flies in the wind. It’s what represents us to the rest of the world.
It’s great to go and buy an American flag for your home. If you go to FORTISVEX.com
, you’ll find high-quality flags at a reasonable price.
But just having an American flag won’t make you a patriot. You need to respect it. And there are many rules that you have to follow to show the proper respect.
The U.S. Flag Code
is a guideline that dates back to 1942. It teaches us how to respect our nation’s flag. For instance, you shouldn’t fly your flag when it rains. You also should fly your flag during major holidays like Veteran’s Day and Labor Day.
Read on to learn about the proper procedure of flying an American flag in your home.
Flying Your Flag the Right Way
The first thing you should know is that the flag should not be installed upside down. It also can not be backward or arranged in any other odd manner.
If you’re flying your flag vertically, then the Union Jack side, where all the beautiful stars are, should be on the left hand side. Furthermore, you should never bow your flag to anything or anyone.
Don’t Let the Flag Touch the Ground
Don’t let the flag touch the floor at any point. It should also never fall into water. However, if it does touch the ground or get wet, don’t discard it.
Just clean it up and make sure that it’s in mint condition before you fly it again.
The Difference Between Half-Mast and Half-Staff
People often use the terms half-mast
and half-staff interchangeably. However, the two terms are different. Half-mast refers to the flag on a ship’s mast. On the other hand, a half-staff refers to a flag that’s flying on land.
When to Fly the American Flag on Half-Staff
The half-staff is reserved for tragic occasions like the death of a soldier. But before you lower the flag into the half-staff position, you should hoist it to the top first.
When you do hoist it to the top, you should only keep it there for a short time. The half staff position expresses sorrow.
Fly the Flag at Night Only If There Is Light
The flag flies from sunrise and falls at sunset. That is the proper time to keep the flag up. However, if you want to fly the flag at night too, that’s fine.
But you have to make sure that you don’t fly the flag in the dark. You should illuminate the flag when it’s up at night.
Don’t Fly the Flag in the Rain
Back in the day, we didn’t have all-weather flags. For that reason, the custom was to lower and remove the flag when it was about to rain.
This tradition is still alive today but all-weather flags may fly in the rain. This is an example of evolving traditions.
Fly the American Flag Higher Than Other Flags
The American flag is always closest to your heart. For that reason, it flies above all other flags. This means that the state, city flag or your team flag should always fly lower than the American flag.
If they’re on the same level, fly the American flag on the left. And always remember to raise the flag first and lower it after all the other flags.
Fly Flags That Are in Good Condition Only
The Old Glory must always be in the best state possible. You shouldn’t raise a flag that has worn out from age. It’s better to get a new flag.
If you’re buying a new flag, get a synthetic one. This way, you can clean the flag with detergent without causing any damage.
If you have a flag that’s important to you, you can still fly it even if it’s old. Just take good care of it. If there are tears, you can fix them with a needle and thread.
However, make sure that the fix-ups are not visible when the flag is in the air. You can clean old flags with products like Woolite, but if your flag is in an irreparable condition, it’s time to retire it.
Disposal of Flags
The United States Flag Code states that old flags should be burned in a respectful ceremony. It’s something that you need to do discreetly.
If you don’t feel right burning your flag, then get in touch with the local American Legion Post. They’ll tell you about disposal ceremonies. These ceremonies usually happen on June 14th and Flag Day.
There’s another option for you if you don’t find anyone in the American Legion Post to help you. You can always contact the local Scout troops. They’ll do it for you in the most respectable manner possible.
Fold the Flag Right
When you want to store your flag away, you need to fold it first. To do this, you get help from another person. Hold the flag parallel to the ground and then fold the lower stripes over the blue.
Then, fold the flag again so that the bottom and top edges meet. After that, do triangular folds starting from the right side towards the left. The result should be a blue triangle with stars on it.
Don’t Get Novelty Products With the Flag on It
A lot of people like to wear clothes with the American flag on it. But the Flag Code warns against this. You’ll find a lot of products on the market that have the American flag on it.
The respectful thing is to not buy these products. However, it’s not a crime and a lot of people associate wearing the colors of the flag with patriotism. So at the end of the day, it’s up to you.