Show your respect for country, veterans by following flag etiquette

Published on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 by Earl Erickson

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Veterans Day is a perfect time to show your patriotism by flying the American flag.  

The U.S. flag is considered to be a living symbol of a free country, representing the many freedoms, rights and responsibilities not entrusted to citizens of the world’s other countries.

To maintain the integrity of the flag, there are codes and guidelines that need to be followed. The law does not provide penalties for violations, however misuse or improper display will most likely incur ridicule from those more familiar with the provisions.

The following information will help us understand the proper etiquette:

Outside Display

Flags are typically flown from sunrise to sunset, although they can be flown after dark if properly illuminated.

American flags can be flown with other flags, but they must have a position of prominence. Flags from other countries, service organizations or state flags must be flown lower than the American flag as a means of respect. 

POW/MIA flags are also flown lower than thte American flag.


The American flag should be displayed on the right side of the parade, and always on a pole or staff, flying freely.

It should not be displayed horizontally or draped on a vehicle or person.

Any U.S. citizen can have their casket draped with an American flag, although this honor is usually reserved for veterans or highly regarded national or state persons.

A veteran may be buried with his or her body wrapped in the American flag, if specifically requested. 


The place of honor indoors is the flag’s own right, which  means the person observing a staffed flag will be on the left side.

When displayed on a wall, the blue/star side will appear in the upper left corner.