How to Fly the Flag

The flag should be raised and lowered by hand. Never, raise the flag while it is furled; unfurl, then hoist quickly to the peak of the flagstaff. It should be lowered slowly and ceremoniously. The flag should never be allowed to touch anything beneath it, such as the ground or the floor.

The flying of the flag at half-staff is a sign of mourning. When flown at half-staff, the flag should be first hoisted to the peak, then immediately lowered to the half-staff position. It should be raised to the peak again for a moment before it is lowered for the day. “Half-staff" is the point midway between the top and bottom of the flagstaff. On Memorial Day in May, the flag should fly at half-staff from sunrise until noon, and at full-staff from noon until sunset.

At sea services by Navy chaplains, the church pennant may be flown above the flag.

No other flag may be flown above The United States flag except at the United Nations Headquarters. The UN flag may be placed above flags of all member nations. In the UN enclave, national flags of all members are flown with equal prominence.

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

Back to Flag Etiquette