It is the universal custom to
display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on
stationary flagstaffs 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.
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.
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 . . . for
personnel of the Navy . . . when the church pennant may be flown above
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
the right of the audience.
NOTE: the U.S. flag
should always be on its own right in relation to other flags on
adjacent staffs – to the left of the observer – except when
displayed as in #5.
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 the 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 Presdential 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.
Excerpts From The Flag Code of The United States – Public Law 94-344, July 7, 1976
Pledge of Allegiance
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 National Anthem
"The Star-Spangled Banner"
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Francis Scott Key
(1779 - 1843)