Guidance for Multiple Flags on a Single Pole

DrillMaster Honor Guard, Instructional 2 Comments

While my wife and I were traveling, we came to a rest area that had three flags flying from a single pole (see the picture). The flags were lowered to half-staff (“Mast” is associated with the Navy, Coast Guard, etc.) which was just fine, but there is something that is “wrong” here. Can you see what it is? The POW/MIA flag should be last, at the bottom. The POW/MIA flag is last when flown with other flags.

The quotes around “wrong” in this instance above mean that it is a technicality and nothing that someone should get bent out of shape over.

Is there specific guidance on how much of a gap should be between each flag when multiple flags are flown on the same pole?

I cannot find guidance in the Flag Code, but there is guidance for the Air Force. The AF protocol instruction states that the flag below the American, flown on the same halyard, must have enough of a gap that when the two flags are at rest, the American does not touch the flag beneath it. This is quite possible for other military branches, check your protocol regulations. As for civilian and municipal flagstaffs, a gap is not necessary as far as I know.

Comments 2

  1. We would like to put our state flag below the US Flag. We are local government and are required to fly the state flag half mast at times. If both flags are on the same pole, is it proper to lower both flags when required to lower the state flag only?

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