Update for May 2022! To download a 2-sided PDF handout of this article, click here. Please help educate as many people as possible by emailing or printing it out and handing it to those who need the information.
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 may receive an angry reply.
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.
Authorized for six days each year. The six national observances are:
- National POW/MIA Recognition Day (third Friday of September)
- Armed Forces Day
- Memorial Day
- Flag Day
- Independence Day
- Veterans Day
The only time the American flag is higher than the others is when it is displayed in the middle of other flags.
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.
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.
“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.