How to Display the USA Flag This Memorial Day

This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May, 25, 2018. For those that display the United States flag on Memorial Day, did you know it’s supposed to be at half-staff until noon?

U.S. Flag Code – Do’s and Don’t’s 

Since 1942, the United States has followed a list of rules and guidelines that dictate the proper ways to display the flag, collectively known as the U.S. Flag Code. Below are some examples of the many rules included in this U.S. Flag Code:

  • The flag should be hoisted “briskly,” but lowered “ceremoniously.”
  • It should be raised first and lowered last if among flags from other nations.
  • U.S. citizens are asked to stand at attention and salute the flag when it’s being raised or lowered.
  • It’s customary for outdoor flags on flagpoles to be up only from sunrise to sunset; however, the flag may be displayed at night on “special occasions.”
  • It should always be in the center and highest when displayed with other flags.
  • If it’s on a staff jutting out from a building, the flag should be at the peak.
  • If it’s not on a staff, the flag should be displayed flat.
  • If you’re hanging a flag on a wall, window, or door, then put the Union — the blue section — to your left.
  • If you’re using it to cover a casket, put the Union at the head and over the left shoulder.
  • If you’re displaying a flag on a float or vehicle, the only right way is from a staff — not draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle.
  • The American flag in a procession should be to the right of any other flag, or if it’s in a line of flags, it should be in front of the center of the line.
  • The code calls for a flag that is so ragged it’s no longer a fitting emblem to be destroyed in a “dignified and ceremonious fashion,” with burning being the preferred method.

There’s also a list of things you shouldn’t do with the flag: use it to cover a ceiling, place anything on it, carry it flat or horizontally, or use it for any advertising purpose. It shouldn’t be displayed outdoors during “inclement weather.” It’s not supposed to be on clothing, pillows, blankets, napkins, plates, boxes or such items. It’s never supposed to be used as part of a costume. You’re not supposed to wrap yourself in it.

And it’s never supposed to touch anything below it: ground, floor, water or other items, including in a store.

Flags at Half-Staff

The law provides a standing list of events for when the flag should be flown at half-staff:

  • The flag should be flown at half-staff for 30 days after the death of a current or former president or president-elect.
  • The flag should be flown at half-staff for 10 days after the death of a current vice president, current or retired chief justice, or current speaker of the House of Representatives.
  • The flag should be flown at half-staff from the day of death until the burial day of an associate justice of the Supreme Court, a secretary of an executive or military department, a former vice president, the president pro tempore of the Senate, or the governor of a state, territory, or possession.
  • The flag should be flown at half-staff on the day of death and the next day for a member of Congress.

On Memorial Day, the flag is flown at half-staff until noon. As for other holidays, it is flown all day on Sept. 11, in honor of Patriot Day and in remembrance of the 2001 terrorist attacks; all day on Peace Officers Memorial Day, May 15 (unless it’s also Armed Forces Day); and all day on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Dec. 7. However, these are not the only days the flag is flown half-staff. For instance, the president can issue an executive order for the flag to be flown at half-staff when a notable person dies or a tragic event occurs. When this happens, all government buildings, offices, public schools, and military bases must fly flags at half-staff. In addition, governors of U.S. states and territories have the ability to order all U.S. and state flags in their jurisdiction flown at half-staff in certain circumstances: the death of a former or current state official or a member of the armed forces who has died in active duty.

A flag flown at half-staff should be raised to the top of the staff and then lowered — not stopped part-way.

To celebrate and honor the U.S. troops on this Memorial Day, Empower Brokerage will be closed Monday, May 25, 2018. Have a happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!!