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American flag etiquette, American Legion flag rules & customs, frequently asked questions,
properly folding the flag, disposal of unserviceable flags, the flag disposal ceremony,
and The United States Flag Code...Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1.

 American Legion 
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United States Flag Code
and Legion Conventions
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American Legion Flag Etiquette

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To All Americans Who Love And Respect The Flag

     There is the upcoming 30th Anniversary of Flag Burning incident at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium. Your thoughts requested for a special book involving Patriotism and Baseball. It need not matter if you were a baseball fan or not. What transpired on the afternoon of April 25th 1976 at Los Angles' Dodger Stadium, was a moment that united Americans throughout our Country.
     At a time when the United States of America was celebrating its Bicentennial, two protesters jumped onto the field and attempted to use the Dodger Stadium outfield as a "Political Stage" in which to burn the American Flag.
     With lighter fluid and matches in hand, the protesters unfurled the Flag and lit a match. But the wind blew out the first match. As they tried to strike a second match, Rick Monday then the Centerfielder for the visiting Chicago Cubs, raced from his position, grabbed the Flag and continued sprinting to the infield where he handed it over to Dodger Pitcher Doug Rau.
     This moment, and the symbol it represented...freedom, history and those who have lost their lives in battle to save Old Glory...had countless Americans talking, from Politicians in Washington, D.C. and throughout the Country to Military Veterans and to everyday Americans who love and respect the Flag.
     It was ranked as one of the top 100 classic moments in Baseball History by the National Baseball Hall of Fame Committee and third on the Sporting News list as the most unusual moment to occur on a Major League Baseball Field.
     To commemorate the Anniversary of this event, it's your turn to express what that moment meant to you as a Citizen of the United States of America. Were you at this game in Los Angeles? Were you, your children or friends, in the Military...or a Veteran of the Armed Forces when this occurred? If you were a new Citizen of the United States, or visiting America at the time, what message did this moment send to you? Or, were you then, and remain, an everyday American who honors and respects the American Flag in a proper manner and was angered by such an incident?

From the American Legion National Headquarters at:
http://www.legion.org/our_flag/of_main.htm

The Flag Code Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1

     As Adopted by the National Flag Conference, Washington, D.C., June 14-15, 1923, and Revised
and Endorsed by the Second National Flag Conference, Washington, D.C., May 15, 1924. Revised
and adopted at P.L. 623, 77th Congress, Second Session, June 22, 1942; as Amended by P.L. 829,
77th Congress, Second Session, December 22, 1942; P.L. 107 83rd Congress, 1st Session, July 9,
1953; P.L. 396, 83rd Congress, Second Session, June 14, 1954; P.L. 363, 90th Congress, Second
Session, June 28, 1968; P.L. 344, 94th Congress, Second Session, July 7, 1976; P.L. 322, 103rd
Congress, Second Session, September 13, 1994; P.L. 225, 105th Congress, Second Session, August
12, 1998; and P.L. 80, 106th Congress, First Session, October 25, 1999.

(The full text of: Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1,
will be found toward the bottom of this page.)

Pledge of Allegiance and Manner of Delivery.

     The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: ''I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of
America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and
justice for all.''

     The pledge should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the
heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at
the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the
flag, and render the military salute.

Display and use of flag by Civilians
Codification of Rules and Customs - Definition

     The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag
of the United States of America is established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or
organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more
executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for
the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to sections 1 and 2 of this title and Executive
Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.

Time and Occasions for Display

(a) It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on
stationary flag staffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be
displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

(b) The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

(c) The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all
weather flag is displayed.

(d) The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on:
New Year's Day, January 1; Inauguration Day, January 20;
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, the third Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, February 12;
Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February; Easter Sunday (variable);
Mother's Day, second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May;
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May;
Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first Monday in September;
Constitution Day, September 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October;
Navy Day, October 27; Veterans Day, November 11;
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day, December 25;
the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays;
and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States;

(e) The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public
institution.

(f) The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.

(g) The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.

Position and Manner of Display

The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching
right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

(a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in
subsection (i) of this section.

(b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad
train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the
chassis or clamped to the right fender.

(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag
of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at
sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel
of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or
international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of,
the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession
thereof: Provided, that nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice
heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence
or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of
the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.

(d) The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall
from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of
the staff of the other flag.

(e) The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the
group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and
displayed from staffs.

(f) When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard
with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown
from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such
flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's
right.

(g) When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of
the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the
display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

(h) When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an
angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed
at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk
from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted
out, union first, from the building.

(i) When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost
and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag
should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the
street.

(j) When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with
the union to the North in an east and west street or to the East in a north and south street.

(k) When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and
behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the
United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the
audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the
audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or
to the right of the audience.

(l) The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument,
but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.

(m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then
lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered
for the day. When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the
same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak.
When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted
first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States
or to the right of the flag of the United States (the viewer's left). When the flag is half-masted,
both flags are half-masted, with the US flag at the mid-point and the other flag below.
     On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised
to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death
of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or
possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or
foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or
orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event
of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession
of the United States, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the
National flag shall be flown at half-staff.
     The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President;
10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the
United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment
of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a
former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death
and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers
Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection...

    (1) the term ''half-staff'' means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between
the top and bottom of the staff;
    (2) the term ''executive or military department'' means any agency listed under sections 101 and
102 of Title 5, United States Code; and
    (3) the term ''Member of Congress'' means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the
Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

(n) When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and
over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

(o) When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance,
it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer's left upon entering. If
the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the
center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west
or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two
directions, the union should be to the east.

Respect for The Flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be
dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags
are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in
instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or
merchandise.

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be
festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and
red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used
for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to
be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark,
insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering
anything.

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not
be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise
impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.
Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch
may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic
organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore,
the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be
destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of the Flag.

     During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in
review, all present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the
right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not
in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left
shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag
in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

Modification of Rules and Customs
by the President of the United States.

     Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth
herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be
prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he
deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set
forth in a proclamation.


Frequently Asked Flag Questions
General Flag Questions and the American Legion's Flag Answers

From the American Legion National Headquarters at:
http://www.legion.org/our_flag/of_main.htm

(1) Can a flag that has been used to cover a casket be displayed after its original
use?

A: There are no provisions in the Flag Code to suggest otherwise. It would be a fitting tribute to
the memory of the deceased veteran and their service to a grateful nation if their casket flag were
displayed.

(2) Can the United States flag be displayed on days when the weather is inclement?

A: The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all
weather (nylon or other non-absorbent material) flag is displayed. However, most all flags are
made of all weather materials.

(3) What is the significance of displaying the flag at half-staff?

A: This gesture is a sign to indicate the nation mourns the death of an individual(s), such as
death of the President or former President, Vice President, Supreme Court Justice, member
of Congress, Secretary of an executive or military department, etc. Only the President of the
United States or the Governor of the State may order the flag to be half-staffed. The honor and
reverence accorded this solemn act is quickly becoming eroded by those individuals and agencies
that display the flag at half-staff on inappropriate occasions without proper authority to do so.

(4) When the flag is not flown from a staff, how should it be displayed?

A: It should be displayed vertically, whether indoors or out, and suspended so that its folds fall
free as though the flag were staffed. The stripes may be displayed either horizontally or vertically
against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right; that is, to the observer's
left. When displayed in a window of a home or a place of business, the flag should be displayed in
the same way; that is, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

(5) How are unserviceable flags destroyed?

A: The Flag Code suggests that, "when a flag has served its useful purpose, it should be
destroyed, preferably by burning." For individual citizens, this should be done discreetly so the
act of destruction is not perceived as a protest or desecration. Many American Legion Posts
conduct Disposal of Unserviceable Flag Ceremonies on June 14th, Flag Day. This ceremony
creates a particularly dignified and solemn occasion for the retirement of unserviceable flags.
(The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags follows...lower down on this page.)

(6) Can the flag be washed or dry-cleaned?

A: Yes. There are no provisions of the Flag Code which prohibit such care. The decision to wash
or dry-clean would be dependent on the material.

(7) Are you required to destroy the flag if it touches the ground?

A: Flag Code section 176b states that the flag should not touch anything beneath it such as the
ground. This is stated to indicate that care should be exercised in the handling of the flag, to
protect it from becoming soiled or damaged. You ARE NOT required to destroy the flag when
this happens. As long as the flag remains suitable for display, even if washing or dry-cleaning
(which is acceptable practice) is required, you may continue to display the flag as a symbol of
our great country.

(8) What is the proper method for folding the flag?

A: The Flag Code does not require any specific method, however, there is a tradition that has
developed over time. This method produces a triangular shaped form like that of a three corner
hat with only the blue union showing. There is a diagram available on Folding the Flag that lists
the steps involved...lower down on this page.

(9) May a person, other than a veteran, have their casket draped with the flag?

A: Yes, although this honor is usually reserved for veterans or highly regarded state and
national figures, the Flag Code does not prohibit this use.

(10) What is the significance of the gold fringe we see on some American flags?

A: Records indicate that fringe was first used on the flag as early as 1835. It was not until
1895 it was officially added to the National flag for all regiments of the Army. For civilian
use, fringe is not required as an integral part of the flag, nor can its use be said to constitute
an unauthorized addition to the design prescribed by statute. It is considered that fringe is
used as an honorable enrichment only.

(11) What is meant by the flag's "own right"?

A: The "right" as the position of honor developed from the time when the "right hand"
was the "weapon hand" or "point of danger." The right hand, raised without a weapon, was
a sign of peace. The right hand, to any observer, is the observer's left. Therefore, as used in
the Flag Code, the flag and/or blue field is displayed to the left of the observer, which is the
flag's "own right."

(12) Is it proper to fly the flag of the United States at night?

A: The Flag Code states it is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to
sunset on buildings and on stationary flag staffs in the open. However, when a patriotic
effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated
during the hours of darkness. (ref: Flag Code 6(a)) The American Legion interprets
"proper illumination" as a light specifically placed to illuminate the flag (preferred) or
having a light source sufficient to illuminate the flag so it is recognizable as such by the
casual observer.

(13) What should be the position of the flag when displayed from a staff
in a church, public auditorium or other public meeting place, whether
indoors or outdoors, on platform, or on the floor at ground level?

A: When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above
and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church, public auditorium or
meeting place, the flag should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the
audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the
audience. Prior to the Flag Code changes in 1976, the display procedure was somewhat
different. Now the staffed flag should always be placed to the right of the speaker
(observer's left) without regard to a platform or floor level.

(14) What are the penalties for the physical desecration of the flag?

A: There are currently no penalties for the physical desecration of the flag. The American
Legion and other members of the Citizens Flag Alliance continue working towards securing
a Constitutional amendment to protect the flag from physical desecration.


Procedures for Folding the Flag
Flag Folding Procedures and the Meaning of Each Flag Fold
From the National Headquarters at:   http://www.legion.org/our_flag/of_main.htm

From the American Legion National Headquarters at:
http://www.legion.org/our_flag/of_main.htm

(a) Straighten out the flag to full length and fold lengthwise once.

(b) Fold it lengthwise a second time to meet the open edge,
making sure that the union of stars on the blue field remains
outward in full view.
Note: A large flag may have to be folded lengthwise a third time.

(c) A triangular fold is then started by bringing the striped corner
of the folded edge to the open edge.

(d) The outer point is then turned inward parallel with the open
edge to form a second triangle.

(e) The diagonal or triangular folding is continued toward the blue
union until the end is reached, with only the blue showing and the
form being that of a cocked (three corner) hat.


Flag Folding Principles and Honors

The flag folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our great country was
originally founded.

The portion of the flag denoting honor is the canton of blue containing the stars representing states our
veterans served in uniform. The canton field of blue dresses from left to right and is inverted only when
draped as a pall on the casket of a veteran who has served our country honorably in uniform.

In the Armed Forces of the United States, at the ceremony of retreat, the flag is lowered, folded in a
triangle fold and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation’s honored dead. The
next morning it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in
the resurrection of the body.

Meaning of the Folds

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks and who gave a
portion of life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him
we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing
with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the
United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with
liberty and justice for all.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our
country and our flag against all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our
republic.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might
see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion
that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our
country since he or she was first born.

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David
and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their
eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto,
"In God We Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever
reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines
who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the
Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.


Disposal of Unserviceable Flags
History - Unserviceable Flag Disposal Ceremony & Procedures

From the American Legion National Headquarters at:
http://www.legion.org/our_flag/of_main.htm

History of the Ceremony

The Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags was approved through Resolution No. 440, by the
National Convention of The American Legion meeting in New York, New York, September 20-23, 1937,
and has been an integral part of American Legion ritual since that date. The resolution reads as follows:

WHEREAS, Americanism has been and should continue to be one of the major programs of The
American Legion; and

WHEREAS, The observance of proper respect for the Flag of our country and the education of our
citizenry in the proper courtesies to be paid the Flag is an essential element of such Americanism
program; and

WHEREAS, It is fitting and proper that Flags which have been used for the decoration of graves on
Memorial Day be collected after such service, inspected, and worn and unserviceable Flags be
condemned and properly destroyed; and

WHEREAS, The approved method of disposing of unserviceable Flags has long been that they be
destroyed by burning, but no ritual for such destruction or ceremony in connection therewith has been
adopted by The American Legion or included in its official manual of Ceremonies; therefore be it...

RESOLVED, By The American Legion in National Convention assembled in New York City, September
20-23, 1937, that the ritual submitted herewith be adopted for use by The American Legion and that it be
made the official ceremony for the destruction of unserviceable American Flags and to be included as
such in the Manual of Ceremonies, Revised, of The American Legion.

The purpose of The American Legion in adopting this ceremony was to encourage proper respect for the
Flag of the United States and to provide for disposal of unserviceable flags in a dignified manner.
Resolution No. 373, approved by the National Convention of The American Legion meeting in Chicago,
Illinois, September 18-20, 1944, reemphasized the purpose of proper public Flag disposal ceremonies
and encouraged greater use of this ceremony by The American Legion. The resolution adopted is as
follows:

WHEREAS, Our Flag which we love and cherish

WHEREAS, In a proper service of tribute and memory and love, our Flag becomes faded and worn and
must be honorably retired from life; and

WHEREAS, Such retirement of Flags that have become unserviceable may be done in public with
respectful and honorable rites: therefore be it

RESOLVED, That The American Legion in convention assembled at Chicago, Illinois, September
18-20,1944, urge that the National Headquarters use all means to foster and promote through the
proper channels, the greater use of the official American Legion Ceremony for the Disposal of
Unserviceable Flags as outlined in the Manual of Ceremonies; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Flag Day, June 14, be recommended as the most appropriate day on which to
annually hold this ceremony.

A set of rules of civilian flag courtesy popularly known as The Flag Code was first formulated by the
National Flag Conference meeting in Washington, D. C., June 14-15, 1923. The Flag Code was an
attempt by prominent patriotic organizations to collect together in one instrument: Statutes, executive
orders, and rules of established custom and usage relating to the Flag of the United States. On
December 22, 1942, Public Law 829 (77th Congress, 2nd Session) was approved, giving official sanction
to most of the provisions of The Flag Code. This Public Law established The Flag Code in Title 36,
United States Code, Chapter 10, Sections 173-178, including The Flag Code on disposal of unserviceable
flags.

We are of the opinion that The American Legion's Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags is a
dignified tribute to the Flag of the United States and to its symbolism. We therefore conclude that this
ceremony is both legal and proper, and that it is an effective instrument for promoting enhanced respect
for the Flag of the United States. The following is the entire ceremony as it appears in the "Manual of
Ceremonies." We encourage your use of the ceremony during your Flag Day, June 14, activities on an
annual basis. By doing so, you will be enhancing the respect to the Flag in your Community and
providing a much needed service to those who have Flags needing to be retired.

Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags

The Post: Assembles in meeting, out-of-doors, at night. Members are aligned in two parallel rows about
twenty feet apart, facing each other.

Officers: At their stations.

A Small Fire...is burning opposite the Commander and beyond the rows of Members.

Sergeant-at-Arms: "Comrade Commander, we wish to present a number of unserviceable Flags of our
Country for inspection and disposal."

Commander: "Comrade Sergeant-at-Arms...advance with your detail and present the Flags for
inspection and disposal."

Sergeant-at-Arms: Calls his detail to attention.

The Detail: They form at the Post of the Sergeant-at-Arms, take the Flags which are to be inspected
and march abreast down center until opposite the Second Vice-Commander, turn right and halt two
paces in front of the Second Vice-Commander.

Sergeant-at-Arms: Steps one pace forward and salutes the Vice Commander.

Sergeant-at-Arms: "Comrade Vice-Commander, we present these unserviceable Flags for your
inspection."

Second Vice-Commander: "Is the present condition of these Flags the result of their usual service as
the Emblem of our Country?"

Sergeant-at-Arms: "These Flags have become faded and worn over the graves of our departed
comrades and the Soldier and Sailor dead of all our Nation's wars."

Second Vice-Commander: "Present these Flags to the First Vice-Commander for his inspection."

Sergeant-at-Arms: Salutes, about faces, and commands the detail, "About Face."

Sergeant-at-Arms: Crosses behind the detail and takes his post at its left, and commands...
"Forward March."

The Detail: Marches to within two paces of the First Vice-Commander, halts and proceeds as before.

Sergeant-at-Arms: "Comrade Vice-Commander, we present these Flags which have been inspected by
the Second Vice-Commander, for your further inspection."

First Vice-Commander: "Have any of these Flags served any other purpose?"

Sergeant-at-Arms: "Some of these Flags have been displayed in various public places."

First Vice-Commander: "Present them to the Commander for final inspection and fitting disposal."

Sergeant-at-Arms: Salutes, about faces, commands the detail, "About Face."

Sergeant-at-Arms: Crosses behind the detail and takes position on its left commands, "Forward March."

The Detail: Marches to center, turns left, and halts within two paces of the Commander.

Sergeant-at-Arms: Steps one pace forward and salutes.

Sergeant-at-Arms: "Comrade Commander, we have the honor to present for final inspection and proper
disposal these Flags of our Country."

Commander: "Have these Flags been inspected by the First and Second Vice-Commanders?"

Sergeant-at-Arms: "They have."

Commander: "Comrade Second Vice-Commander, what does your inspection show and what do you
recommend?"

Second Vice-Commander: "Comrade Commander, since these Flags have become unserviceable in a
worthy cause, I recommend that they be honorably retired from further service."

Commander: "Comrade First Vice-Commander, what does your inspection show and what do you
recommend?"

First Vice-Commander: "Comrade Commander, since these Flags have become faded and worn in a
tribute of service and love, I also recommend that they be fittingly destroyed."

Commander: "Comrades, we have presented here these Flags of our Country which have been
inspected and condemned as unserviceable. They have reached their present state in a proper
service of tribute, memory and love.

Commander: "A Flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze, or a beautiful banner of finest silk. Its
intrinsic value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol
of all that we and our comrades have worked for and lived for, and died for...a free Nation of free men,
true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of Justice, Freedom and Democracy.

Commander: "Let these faded Flags of our Country be retired and destroyed with respectful
and honorable rites and their places be taken by bright new Flags of the same size and kind,
and let no grave of our soldier or sailor dead be unhonored and unmarked.

Commander: "Sergeant-at-Arms, assemble the Color Guard, escort the detail bearing the Flags
and destroy these Flags by burning. The members shall stand at attention."

Color Guard: Forms.

The Detail: About faces.

Color Guard & Detail: Preceded by the Color Guard...the detail marches down center to the fire.

National Colors: Cross over and take position on the right of the fire, facing the Commander.

Post Standard: Takes position on left of fire.

The Detail: Lines up behind the fire, which is burning low.

Commander: "The Chaplain will offer prayer."

Chaplain: "Almighty God, Captain of all hosts and Commander over all, bless and consecrate this
present hour. "We thank Thee for our Country and its Flag, and for the Liberty for which it stands.

Chaplain: "To a clean and purging flame we commit these Flags, worn-out in worthy Service. As they
yield their substance to the fire, may Thy Holy Light spread over us and bring to our hearts renewed
devotion to God and Country. Amen."

Commander: "Hand salute."

Color Guard: Present arms.

Post Standard:
...is dipped.

All Officers and Members, except those on the Flag Detail: Salute.

Members of the Flag Detail: Dip the condemned Flags in kerosene and place them on a rack
over the fire.

Bugler: Sounds "To the Colors."

Commander: At the conclusion of "To the Colors"..."Two."

Color Guard: Resume its station...and the detail is dismissed.

Color Guard: Advances down center and places the Colors.

Members of the Detail: Resume their places among the Members.

Ceremony Ends: The Flag Disposal Ceremony concludes in a manner established by the Post.


The Full Text of Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1
Historical notes; Revision Notes; Law and Statute numbers and dates removed for simplicity.

From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access:  http://www.access.gpo.gov/index.html
10 Aug 03  http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/index.html

Please Note: For amendments to Public Law regarding the United State Flag
we recommend entering a Search Word(s) at:  http://uscode.house.gov/usc.htm

TITLE 4 - FLAG AND SEAL,
SEAT OF GOVERNMENT,
AND THE STATES

CHAPTER 1 - THE FLAG

Sections in Chapter 1

Section 1    Flag; stripes and stars on.
Section 2    Same; additional stars.
Section 3    Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag.
Section 4    Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery.
Section 5    Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition.
Section 6    Time and occasions for display.
Section 7    Position and manner of display.
Section 8    Respect for flag.
Section 9    Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag.
Section 10  Modification of rules and customs by President.

Laws in effect as of January 2, 2001.  Document not affected by Public Laws enacted
between January 2, 2001 and January 28, 2002.

Sec. 1. Flag; stripes and stars on.

The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white;
and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars, white in a blue field.

Executive Order No. 10798

Ex. Ord. No. 10798, Jan. 3, 1959, 24 F.R. 79, which prescribed proportions and sizes of
flags until July 4, 1960, was revoked by section 33 of Ex. Ord. No. 10834, set out as a
note under this section.

Ex. Ord. No. 10834. Proportions and Sizes of Flags and Position of Stars.

Ex. Ord. No. 10834, Aug. 21, 1959, 24 F.R. 6865, provided:
WHEREAS the State of Hawaii has this day been admitted into the Union; and
WHEREAS section 2 of title 4 of the United States Code provides as follows: ``On the
admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such
addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission.''; and
WHEREAS the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 as amended
authorizes the President to prescribe policies and directives governing the procurement and
utilization of property by executive agencies; and
WHEREAS the interests of the Government require that orderly and reasonable provision
be made for various matters pertaining to the flag and that appropriate regulations governing
the procurement and utilization of national flags and union jacks by executive agencies be
prescribed:
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States
and as Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States, and the Federal Property
and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Part I--Design of the Flag

Section 1. The flag of the United States shall have thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and
white, and a union consisting of white stars on a field of blue.
Section 2. The positions of the stars in the union of the flag and in the union jack shall be as
indicated on the attachment to this order, which is hereby made a part of this order.
Section 3. The dimensions of the constituent parts of the flag shall conform to the proportions set
forth in the attachment referred to in section 2 of this order.

Part II--Regulations Governing Executive Agencies

Section 21
The following sizes of flags are authorized for executive agencies:

Dimensions of Flag

Size Hoist Fly                         (width) (length)
                                                  Feet    Feet
(1).............................................20.00   38.00
(2).............................................10.00   19.00
(3)............................................. 8.95    17.00
(4)............................................. 7.00    11.00
(5)............................................. 5.00     9.50
(6)............................................. 4.33     5.50
(7)............................................. 3.50     6.65
(8)............................................. 3.00     4.00
(9)............................................. 3.00     5.70
(10)............................................2.37     4.50
(11)............................................1.32     2.50

Section 22
Flags manufactured or purchased for the use of executive agencies:
(a) Shall conform to the provisions of Part I of this order, except as may be otherwise authorized
pursuant to the provisions of section 24, or except as otherwise authorized by the provisions of
section 21, of this order.
(b) Shall conform to the provisions of section 21 of this order, except as may be otherwise
authorized pursuant to the provisions of section 24 of this order.

Section 23
The exterior dimensions of each union jack manufactured or purchased for executive agencies shall
equal the respective exterior dimensions of the union of a flag of a size authorized by or pursuant to
this order. The size of the union jack flown with the national flag shall be the same as the size of the
union of that national flag.

Section 24

(a) The Secretary of Defense in respect of procurement for the Department of Defense (including
military colors) and the Administrator of General Services in respect of procurement for executive
agencies other than the Department of Defense may, for cause which the Secretary or the
Administrator, as the case may be, deems sufficient, make necessary minor adjustments in one or
more of the dimensions or proportionate dimensions prescribed by this order, or authorize
proportions or sizes other than those prescribed by section 3 or section 21 of this order.

(b) So far as practicable,
    (1) the actions of the Secretary of Defense under the provisions of section 24(a) of this order, as
they relate to the various organizational elements of the Department of Defense, shall be
coordinated, and
    (2) the Secretary and the Administrator shall mutually coordinate their actions under that section.

Section 25
Subject to such limited exceptions as the Secretary of Defense in respect of the Department of
Defense, and the Administrator of General Services in respect of executive agencies other than
Department of Defense, may approve, all national flags and union jacks now in the possession of
executive agencies, or hereafter acquired by executive agencies under contracts awarded prior to
the date of this order, including those so possessed or so acquired by the General Services
Administration, for distribution to other agencies, shall be utilized until unserviceable.

Part III--General Provisions

Section 31
The flag prescribed by Executive Order No. 10798 of January 3, 1959, shall be the official flag of
the United States until July 4, 1960, and on that date the flag prescribed by Part I of this order
shall become the official flag of the United States; but this section shall neither derogate from
section 24 or section 25 of this order nor preclude the procurement, for executive agencies, of
flags provided for by or pursuant to this order at any time after the date of this order.

Section 32
As used in this order, the term ``executive agencies'' means the executive departments and
independent establishments in the executive branch of the Government, including wholly-owned
Government corporations. Section Executive Order No. 10798 of January 3, 1959, is hereby
revoked. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Section 2. Same; additional stars.

On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag;
and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission.

Sec. 3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag.

Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall
place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement
of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall
expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which
shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended,
affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of
any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to
public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any
purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise
or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed,
painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign,
to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so
placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100
or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court. The words
"flag, standard, colors, or ensign'', as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign,
or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance
or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard,
colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon
which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any
part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may
believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

Amendments

1968--Public Law 90-381 struck out "; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall publicly
mutilate, deface, defile or defy, trample upon, or cast contempt, either by word or act, upon any
such flag, standard, colors, or ensign,'' after ``substance on which so placed''.

 

Sec. 4. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it
stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.''

The pledge should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the
heart. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at
the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the
flag, and render the military salute.

Sec. 5. Display and use of flag by civilians;
codification of rules and customs; definition
.

The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag
of the United States of America is established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or
organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more
executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for
the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to sections 1 and 2 of this title and Executive
Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.

Executive Order 10834, referred to in text, is set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Sec. 6. Time and occasions for display.

(a) It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on
stationary flag staffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be
displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

(b) The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.

(c) The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all
weather flag is displayed.

(d) The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on
New Year's Day, January 1;
Inauguration Day, January 20;
Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, third Monday in January;
Lincoln's Birthday, February 12;
Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February;
Easter Sunday (variable);
Mother's Day, second Sunday in May;
Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May;
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May;
Flag Day, June 14;
Independence Day, July 4;
Labor Day, first Monday in September;
Constitution Day, September 17;
Columbus Day, second Monday in October;
Navy Day, October 27;
Veterans Day, November 11;
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November;
Christmas Day, December 25;
and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States;
the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays.

(e) The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public
institution.

(f) The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.

(g) The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.

In subsection (d) above, the words "Veterans Day'' are substituted for "Armistice Day" because
of the Act of June 1, 1954.  Amendments 1999--Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 106-80 inserted "Martin Luther
King Jr.'s birthday, third Monday in January;'' after "January 20;''.

Sec. 7. Position and manner of display.

The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching
right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

(a) The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in
subsection (i) of this section.

(b) The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train
or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or
clamped to the right fender.

(c) No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag
of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea,
when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of
the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or
international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of,
the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession
thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice
heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence
or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of
the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.

(d) The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall
from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of the
staff of the other flag.

(e) The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the
group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and
displayed from staffs.

(f) When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard
with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown
from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such
flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's
right.

(g) When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the
same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display
of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

(h) When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle
from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak
of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope
extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union
first, from the building.

(i) When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and
to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be
displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

(j) When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the
union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.

(k) When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and
behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the
United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience,
and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other
flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the
audience.

(l) The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but
it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.

(m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then
lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for
the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to
the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of
principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or
possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or
foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or
orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event
of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession
of the United States, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the
National flag shall be flown at half-staff. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of
the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief
Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of
Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme
Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor
of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of
Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is
also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection...
    (1) the term ``half-staff'' means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the
top and bottom of the staff;
    (2) the term ``executive or military department'' means any agency listed under sections 101 and
102 of title 5, United States Code; and
    (3) the term ``Member of Congress'' means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the
Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

(n)
When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and
over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

(o) When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance,
it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer's left upon entering. If the
building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of
the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west or to the
east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions,
the union should be to the east.

Proclamation No. 3044.
Display of Flag at Half-Staff Upon Death
of Certain Officials and Former Officials

Proc. No. 3044, Mar. 1, 1954, 19 F.R. 1235, as amended by Proc. No. 3948, Dec. 12, 1969, 34 F.R.
19699, provided:

WHEREAS it is appropriate that the flag of the United States of America be flown at half-staff on
Federal buildings, grounds, and facilities upon the death of principal officials and former officials of
the Government of the United States and the Governors of the States, Territories, and possessions
of the United States as a mark of respect to their memory; and

WHEREAS it is desirable that rules be prescribed for the uniform observance of this mark of respect
by all executive departments and agencies of the Government, and as a guide to the people of the
Nation generally on such occasions:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, President of the United States of America
and Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States, do hereby prescribe and proclaim
the following rules with respect to the display of the flag of the United States of America at half-staff
upon the death of the officials hereinafter designated:

1. The flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels
of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its
Territories and possessions for the period indicated upon the death of any of the following-designated
officials or former officials of the United States:
    (a) The President or a former President: for thirty days from the day of death. The flag shall also be
flown at half-staff for such period at all United States embassies, legations, and other facilities abroad,
including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
    (b) The Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the
Speaker of the House of Representatives: for ten days from the day of death.
    (c) An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a member of the Cabinet, a former Vice President,
the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Minority Leader of
the Senate, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, or the Minority Leader of the
House of Representatives: from the day of death until interment.

2. The flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels
of the Federal Government in the metropolitan area of the District of Columbia on the day of death
and on the following day upon the death of a United States Senator, Representative, Territorial
Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and it shall also be
flown at half-staff on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels of the Federal Government in the State,
Congressional District, Territory, or Commonwealth of such Senator, Representative, Delegate, or
Commissioner, respectively, from the day of death until interment.

3. The flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff on all buildings and grounds of the Federal
Government in a State, Territory, or possession of the United States upon the death of the Governor
of such State, Territory, or possession from the day of death until interment.

4. In the event of the death of other officials, former officials, or foreign dignitaries, the flag of the
United States shall be displayed at half-staff in accordance with such orders or instructions as may be
issued by or at the direction of the President, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices
not inconsistent with law.

5. The heads of the several departments and agencies of the Government may direct that the flag of
the United States be flown at half-staff on buildings, grounds, or naval vessels under their jurisdiction
on occasions other than those specified herein which they consider proper, and that suitable military
honors be rendered as appropriate.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of
America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 1st day of March in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and
fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy
eighth. [seal] Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Sec. 8. Respect for the Flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be
dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags
are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in
instances of extreme danger to life or property.
(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or
merchandise.
(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be
festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and
red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used
for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to
be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark,
insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering
anything.
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not
be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise
impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.
Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch
may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic
organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore,
the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be
destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

Sec. 9. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag.

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in
review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the
right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in
uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the
hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column
should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

Sec. 10. Modification of rules and customs by the President.

Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth
herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be
prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he
deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set
forth in a proclamation.

Proclamation No. 2605.
The Flag of the United States.

Proclamation No. 2605, Feb. 18, 1944, 9 F.R. 1957, 58 Stat. 1126, provided:

The flag of the United States of America is universally representative of the principles of the justice,
liberty, and democracy enjoyed by the people of the United States; and People all over the world
recognize the flag of the United States as symbolic of the United States; and

The effective prosecution of the war requires a proper understanding by the people of other countries
of the material assistance being given by the Government of the United States:

NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United
States, particularly by the Joint Resolution approved June 22, 1942, as amended by the Joint
Resolution approved December 22, 1942 [now sections 4 to 10 of this title], as President and
Commander in Chief, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:

1. The use of the flag of the United States or any representation thereof, if approved by the Foreign
Economic Administration, on labels, packages, cartons, cases, or other containers for articles or
products of the United States intended for export as lend-lease aid, as relief and rehabilitation aid, or
as emergency supplies for the Territories and possessions of the United States, or similar purposes,
shall be considered a proper use of the flag of the United States and consistent with the honor and
respect due to the flag.

2. If any article or product so labeled, packaged or otherwise bearing the flag of the United States or
any representation thereof, as provided for in section 1, should, by force of circumstances, be diverted
to the ordinary channels of domestic trade, no person shall be considered as violating the rules and
customs pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States, as set forth in the Joint Resolution
approved June 22, 1942, as amended by the Joint Resolution approved December 22, 1942 (U.S.C.,
Supp. II, title 36, secs. 171-178) [now sections 4 to 10 of this title] for possessing, transporting,
displaying, selling or otherwise transferring any such article or product solely because the label,
package, carton, case, or other container bears the flag of the United States or any representation
thereof.

An Excellent Source of Flag Knowledge at Veterans Flag Depot

We hope the flag etiquette information above provided
some answers to your United States Flag questions.

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