Outside Flag Display Protocol

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For years people have verbally attacked each other over what they thought they know to be true, especially where flag display is concerned. Even if you know what the Flag Code says and you politely try to correct someone about their display (hotel, business, school, etc.) you will probably receive and angry reply.

Standard display

The above display is for every day of the year except for the six national observances, below. See also this article on POW/MIA Flag Protocol.

Should only be displayed six days each year

Authorized for six days each year. The six national observances are:

  1. National POW/MIA Recognition Day (third Friday of September)
  2. Armed Forces Day
  3. Memorial Day
  4. Flag Day
  5. Independence Day
  6. Veterans Day
Proper display
Proper display

The only time the American flag is higher than

Flags must be raised to full truck

The above display is not appropriate since all of the flagpoles are the same height. The American flag should be at the viewer’s left, see the image at the very top.

Proper display withe the American flag in the center displayed with several other flags
Appropriate half-staff display
Appropriate half-staff display due to flagpole height
Inappropriate half-staff display due to flagpoles being the same height.
All flags must be at full truck
Appropriate half-staff display

In the above image, this is appropriate half-staff display with one (or more) national flags. This goes for a foreign business located in the US and also military installations located overseas. Foreign national flags may not be brought to half-staff without that government giving its OK. Military installations overseas must contact the host nation liaison for permission to lower the host nation flag.

Standard double-halyard pole display
Appropriate display six days each year (see at the top)
Appropriate half-staff display

“Intended Direction of Display” is a term that I coined to help people understand the direction of display and the location for each of the flags in the display.

Standard display
Flags located near the street should be displayed so that the American is closest to the street

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