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August-October 2011 Flag Rules Guestbook Archive


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God Bless America
John Crawford, 60099 [10-30-2011]

I'd like to know if there are any rules pertaining to WHEN flags are placed at Veteran graves other than Memorial Day. I placed flags on graves at a country-side cemetery when there was no special holiday. I was told by the sexton that flags are placed only on certain days.
Gail DeGood-Guy, Richwood, Ohio [10-28-2011]

The Flag Code is silent on this question.

We are conducting a patriotically-themed program. I have several "Betsy Ross" flags (the first official flags of the US - red and white stripes with 13 stars in a circle on a field of blue). Do the flag protocols still apply to such historical flags or may they be used as decoration in ways not appropriate for current US flag.
Thomas A. Ohnesorge, Surprise, AZ; I am the Music Director of a large church in Sun City, AZ. [10-28-2011]

at my work [private co].can I drape the flag over a display table with military memorbilia layed on the flag during a veteran`s day event
dallas radford, seattle wa. [10-28-2011]

We recommend against that. We suggest you use bunting.

I find it sad that people dont know when to take tattered flags down my nieghbor pole is right out his back door yet the flag is tattered and has a huge hole init and its caught on the pole
anonymous [10-27-2011]

the reason some eagles are missing half the wing is becuase it probally broke I have seen this quite often on flag sets wings can break off
anonymous [10-26-2011]

silver fringe is to be used on pow mia flags correct? along with silver accsecories like the eagle or ball?
anonymous [10-25-2011]

I have occasionally seen the POW-MIA flag with gold fringe. I haven't seen it with a silver fringe.

Thank you for this site. I was considering painting an American Flag on an air compressor I just bought, but I don't believe (even though my intention was to be patriotic) it would be respectful. PS Can we print the flag code? Thought it would be good for my kids to study. Thanks.
David G Jones, United States [10-25-2011]

You can certainly print the Flag Code.

maybe you didnt get the triangle fold question can we fold our flag in a trinagle but not tuck the grommets in and have the flag tied to the pole to keep it off the ground while having the hooks attached to the flag? thank you
anonymous [10-25-2011]

You should undo the triangle fold prior to attach the flag at the grommets.

someone in my town has a tall radio attenna next to the house the hoisted a 5x9 burial flag about 3 years ago the flag ripped shortly after that along the heading edge and they just left the remains up there now theres only about 3 inches of the flag up ther now cause the rest ripped off can i submit a wall of shame photo with this? and should i kindly ask them to remove it ?
anonymous [10-25-2011]

You should politely speak to them.

In churches I have noticed that the Eagle on the American Flag staff was missing half of the left wing. What is the reason and is it required by all churches?
Jere K. Detwiler, Capron, Va./Retired Marine [10-25-2011]

We have no information on this. If anyone does, please post the response.

our high school is having a flag dedication program the new pole is a teloscopic pole would it be proper to fold the flag in a triangle and just the little excess after we fold it out with the grommets and attached to the rings on the pole and tie the flag to the pole with yellow ribbon/
anonymous [10-24-2011]

The triangular fold accommodates the canvas strip with the grommets.

when our high school band practices the national anthem those thatare not playing an instriment in the room should they stand?
anonymous [10-24-2011]

In the name of common sense, it would be unneccesary to stand during band practice.

Can the American Flag be attached properly to a flag pole and then attached to an EZ Up? The flag pole will have the means to raise/lower the flag, but we're concerned about how high the flag must fly? High enough to not touch the canopy when at rest? Thanks.
Kari Kent, Huntington Beach, CA [10-21-2011]

The flag should fly at the top of the pole, or the pole needs to be repositioned.

I was wondering if i would be in violation if i created a full scale model of the american flag by means of crochet for an crochet afghan competition after with i will have it framed and presented to my sister-in-law in honor of my little brother who will be severing in kawait at the time.
Miranda, South Carolina [10-19-2011]

It sounds like a wonderful project.

regarding United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 - 3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag Why does this rule state that it applies only to the District of Columbia?
Rodney A Conklin, North Carolina [10-18-2011]

Congress can pass laws that apply to the Federal government and the District of Columbia.

Fire Prevention Week - What day to put it @ 1/2 staff: A year or so ago, your website said '1st Sunday in October'. When I checked recently, it's now "Sunday of week in which October 9th falls". BUT - looking on other sites, including White House, it's today, Sunday,10/16/11. Help to clear up the (my?) confusion???
MeThinks2, Chicago area [10-16-2011]

We are seeking clarification from the White House. This year, the flag is flown today at half-staff, even though Fire Prevention Week started last Sunday.

my nieghbors flag is hanging upside down the top snap broke Ive told him to fix it but nothings been done been like that 4 months can I fix it for him what do you think?
anonymous [10-16-2011]

You can his your neighbor's permission to fix his flag.

Just installed my first flag pole and am trying to learn all that should be done to display and maintain same.
Ron Torgeson, Southwest lower Michigan [10-16-2011]

Is it okay to hang a flag horizontal inside a building lobby and if so,what is the proper way to attached the right end as it has no eyelet? Thanks Ray
Ray C Rogers, Inman, SC 29349 [10-16-2011]

Yes, you may fly it horizontally inside a lobby, although vertical is more common. Visit locations where this is done and see how it is attached.

Why do you not object to the "at sea" configuration of the flag on the gaff by yacht clubs on land? To me, it clearly gives the perception that the club pennant is "more important" than the national colors. See below from your site's FAQ... How do I display the US flag on a ship's signal mast, with a gaff, when on land? There are several opinions on this question. Oftentimes at marinas and yacht clubs, for example, a ship's signal mast is displayed on land. There is often discussion regarding the appropriate display of the U.S. flag. Should it match what is done at sea or should it be in compliance with the Flag Code, which does speak to displays at sea in Section 7-c? The gaff is the diagonal that projects aft from the crosstree. This is the convention at sea, with the U.S. flag on the gaff, with the club burgee at the peak. This display is consistent with the U.S. Flag Code. There is no prohibition against having the U.S. flag twice, and this solution is a compromise. It is our feeling that the middle display above is appropriate, but we don't take objection to displays one and three above.
CAPT Jim Kielek USN, Reserve component, Baltimore, MD [10-16-2011]

i bought a john deere flag and was wondering if it is legal to fly it on truck?
Bryce Allen Haler, Ames, iowa [10-16-2011]

The Flag Code doesn't say that only a US flag can fly from a vehicle; it has rules for when you choose to do so.

A national motorcycle association has made a patch of the American Flag with the letters CMA-USA embroidered below the flag but as a part of the patch. Is this OK?
Skip Geisaka, Cesapeake, VA [10-13-2011]

The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature. (Flag Code, section 8g)

This information on the Flag's history and the Flag Code were very helpful to helping answer questions for my Washington DC Booklet. Thanks!
Juliette, Midwest Ohio [10-11-2011]

I recently purchased an American & Arkansas flag and I have a question which I need to resolve. I have a houseboat with two flagpoles on the rear of the boat, which side does the American Flag fly looking at the rear of the boat as it is moving AWAY from the viewer, port (left) or starboard (right). I have searched the web and other sites and cannot find an answer to my question. Can you please help me? Thanks
Redd George, Littlt Rock Arkansas [10-11-2011]

The flag would be on the viewer's right as the boat is moving away. The general rule is that the flag is always on ITS right, so you imagine yourself in the place of the flag and stand, facing forward, on your right.

October 13th 1775 a force like no other was born that force is the United States Navy. Happy Birthday USN -a global force for good!
anonymous [10-11-2011]

I sometimes dispose of little 8x12 stick flags in my garage myself cuase i dont think its worth the hassle of the legion guys to do it. I start with the pledge facing the flag to be destroyed then i say a prayer asking God to bless and consecrte the flags as they yeild there substance to the fire then i apply a flamable liquid to the flags and burn them then i take my flagpole out of its ground sleeve bury the ashes in the sleeve then install pole is this proper am i doing it right
anonymous [10-11-2011]

I have received a political mailer from Jim Penman, City Attorney, showing our flag draped over a pit bull dog which is very offensive to the flag and those who have died for it. This should be included in the Hall of Shame before the November 8th election. Where may I send these images of his political mailer?
john lightburn, US NAVY Veteran, San Bernardino, Ca. [10-11-2011]

I work for a law enforcement agency on Long Island. One of our Lieutenants on the midnight tour insists that when the flag is flown at half staff he has the officers lower them at 0030 hours instead of sunrise, this irks me to no end. As many times as I tell him he is disrespecting the flag by doing this. What recourse do I really have,this has been going on for quite some time. Your input would be appreciated. Grace Sjolin
grace sjolin, stony brook ny [10-07-2011]

Section 6a. states, "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." This indicates that the flag's day begins at sunrise, so we agree with you.

can you personly have a flag at school?
bigdfurrow [10-07-2011]

looks like well fly the tattered stripes on our pole till our question is awnsered for guidence
anonymous [10-07-2011]

Our group feels that you should try to remove the stripes as soon as you can arrange to do so safely.

According to the US Flag Code only the president and a governor can order the US Flag lowered to half staff. I don't see why Disney World or the Apple Corporate headquarters gets off doing this. What do you say?
Art, American Legion - North Bend WA [10-07-2011]

I would like to confirm something I read re: flag-national anthem protocol on a non-official website. As to when to play the national anthem when raising our flag, I read that the flag should already be at the top of its pole when our national anthem begins (i.e., the flag is raised in silence and only when that act is completed does the playing of the anthem commence). Is this correct? Thank you.
Catherine, Burgundy, France [10-07-2011]

It is traditional to play the national anthem for the raising of the flag.

Some wind came thru the other day and totally shredded our flag to pieces half of it is caught around the eagle on top the pole its a 50' pole and a 8x12 flag the top 3 stripes are all twisted around the eagle so we took the flag down but 3 stripes of full length are still up there what should we do it will cost a lot to bring them down or can we hoist a new flag with them up there?
anonymous [10-06-2011]

I find it shameful that our goverment is unwilling to help those that fought to keep this GREAT NATION free.The goverment will spend ungodly amounts of money muffins,toilet seats and who knows whats else that hasn't been reported yet out VETS go homeless.this makes no F ing sense to me
Randy Day, Detroit Mi US Army Vet [10-04-2011]

The flag of honor/heroes DOES NOT violate code it is not an American flag if I was to buy a flag at the store and write on it that would be wrong but the words are in the ink that the flag got printed with so it be ok it
anonymous [10-04-2011]

"The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature." (Flag Code, Section 8g)

We displayed the special flag for 9/11, the one with the names where the stripes usually are. Is that flag a violation of the Flag Code? Interested in if it complies or not, as we try to follow the code. P.S. I put our flag at 1/2 staff today, per your list from 2008, for Fire Prevention Week. I see it's now changed to Sunday w/October 9. I put our flag back up & am checking my list twice, which brought me back here. :)
Me Thinks 2, Chicago area [10-03-2011]

The "Flag of Honor and Heroes" violates the Flag Code: "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature." (Flag Code, Section 8g)

I found out that my daughters 6th grade class DOES NOT salute the flag, pledge allegiance or acknowledge the flag. AND there is NO flag in her classroom. Is this in violation??? I don't know if there is a law I can refer to at a school meeting to resolve this issue. Thank you!
Cheyene, Carter County, Oklahoma [10-02-2011]

6g. of the Flag Code states, "The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse." There is nothing more in the Flag Code regarding display in a classroom.

The falg code states that the POW/MIA flag will be flown below the US Flag on "special occasions." If you are flying the POW/MIA flag on a different day, does it go below or above the state flag? In short, what is the order of precedence for the US Flag, POW/MIA flag, and state flag on a normal day?
Matthew Spaans, South Dakota [09-30-2011]

Why do some flags have fringe - Gold border - plain what does that stand for?
Esther Smith, Running Springs, CA [09-29-2011]

even if im the only one that sees it a 2x3' flag should still be lit right? my solar light comes on at 8 and is out by 10 should i fix this problem?
anonymous [09-29-2011]

Use your best judgment. The Flag Code states that it should be lit in hours of darkness.

are you aloud to fly a flag on a pole attched to your truck at the school? our shool is having a fit about us flying our flag with pride and now they are trying to confinscate it, does that sound right?
bigdfurrow, in [09-29-2011]

The Flag Code has provisions for properly displaying the flag on a vehicle.

i loved this website. the information was extravagent and informational and amazing and i love it. please post more info and pictures. i will check this website every single day to find new info. i am so interested in the us flag i just love it so much. i am going to pick my flag off the floor after reading this website. i will no longer sit on my flag or use it as a blanket at night.
Parker Roner. Bradenton, FL, Braden River High School. Room 727. Second Seat From the Front, Closest to the door. [09-29-2011]

Im a Son of The Legion member Im in our Color guard we typically mix with the VFW the guy that always carries the US flag keeps the pole low and the flag completly furled around the pole when he marches I always let my American flag fly free whats your thoughts?
anonymous [09-26-2011]

The American flag should also fly free.

Our band was in a parade we carried the US flag a 4x6 on a 8ft pole no one saluted as we went down the street should it be saluted or is that only for the color guard leading the front of the parade?
anonymous [09-26-2011]

If you were to salute every flag in a parade, your arm would tire. We suggest saluting the color guard at the front and all veterans.

Everyday on my car I do colors I have a window flag and before i take off in the morning I raise it on my window and play to the colors or national anthem on my cd as it goes up and i lower it at night to taps or retreat this proper
anonymous [09-26-2011]

To the uneducated idiot that said the flag is just a piece of cloth and no big deal. I would like to volenteer to help you pack and get your a** out of this country cause if you dont like the flag that tells me you dont appreciate the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and you know the saying America love it or leave it.
anonymous [09-26-2011]

What do I put on top of my american flag pole Does it take an eagle or arrowhead point V
manuel salinas, Villita Assembly Building an events facility in San Antonion Tx [09-26-2011]

An eagle is the most popular finial for an American flag.

I found a funeral flag at Salvation Army today and bought it for $3.99...I am appalled. It is folded as if just handed to a grieving family member. It is not stained or faded, seems to be recent. I bought it even though I used money I needed to purchase clothes for a job I am starting this next week. I could not leave it there. I don't feel it was right for it to be donated for resale to begin with. I served in the USAF and my daughter is currently a security specialist in the USAF. What do I do with this flag? Is there an organization I should take it to as a form of respect? I normally take my flags to the VFW but I do not really want it to be destroyed unless that is what the Flag regulations require. It broke my heart to find it for sale. What do I do???
Jill Lynn McCallum, Grand Rapids, Michigan [09-25-2011]

I love to fly the flag but not in the rain or snow. I fly from a poarch pole. May I put a holder on the inside of the pole so I can fly it out of the weather ? It would be under the poarch roof that way. I take my flag in at sunset .
JOSEPHINE DEMARC, New Castle, Pa 16101 [09-25-2011]

"The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed." (Section 6-c.)

I am planning a field of flags for all Nebraska service personal that where killed since 9-11-01. This display is in my yard. My plans are up front have 2 3x5 US flags on poles then theres a nice maple tree in the yard about 15ft from the sidewalk and about 45 ft of yard behind it so around the tree I have 12x18 inch US,POW Nebraska and all 5 service flags 3 on each side with the US /POW in the front and higher, then behind the tree I plan on putting 8x12 US flags on sticks about 24 inches tall about 90 flags each with a name of a service member. My question is since the military flags stand about 36 inches tall on their sticks and then about 5ft behind them the US flags on 24 inch sticks is this any problem due too hieght of military compared to US? The 3x5ft US would be above all so there is a US at the highest point the service flags are kind of their own group with the US highest of them but wanted to check to make sure that the 90 US flags are fine being a bit lower. Then behind the 90 US flags 2 Nebraska flags of 2x3ft size so the 2 3x5 US would be about 8ft high and the state would be about 6' let me know to ensure all is proper for this display it will go up on Vets Day for the first time then be used on Armed Forces Day, MEmorial Day Flag Day and Fourth of July and 9-11.
Thomas, Nebraska [09-25-2011]

With the large US flags featured, I think that having the small stick flags of various sizes would not be seen as a problem. Use your best judgment.

Whats the big deal about the flag? Its a piece of cloth. Flags recieve better care than most humans. Is that right? NO!
anonymous [09-25-2011]

Funny that in your "flag rules" section you seemed to only find conservatives who violated them.....
lee, Houston, Texas [09-21-2011]

We are non-partisan and we post violations that are in the news from both parties and elsewhere.

My company is going to install 3 flag poles (US, State, Company) How far apart should the poles be from one another?
Ashley Tate [09-21-2011]

The Flag Code is silent. Use your best judgment or hire a professional to advise.

How I love this country and I love the flag ! Very appreciative to the selfless men and women who fight to protect all that it represents. Thank you also for this flag information. I will value this !
Kyndl McGehee, Marshfield MO [09-21-2011]

I found a banner that says "your flag and my flag". It is trimmed in blue with white stars, has an american flag on a pole in the center and the bottom is pointed like an upside down V. I would like to know how old it is or any history that someone may give.
PalmerHall, michigan/ coin and hstory buff [09-21-2011]

check this out is this proper let me know thanks http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,536863,00.html
Tom, Nebraska -the state that did away with a law protecting Old Glory [09-21-2011]

I found this in the archives I belive the webmaster is wrong the flag code says the flag should be displayed near or in every schoolhouse Is it Illegal to post a Mexican flag or picture of a Mexican flag in a bilingual classroom? Mrs. Rodriguez, elgin, tx [04-02-2010] Nothing in the Flag Code forbids flying a foreign flag. The Flag Code does require flying a US flag at a public school.
anonymous [09-21-2011]

a man i know wants to display a POW MIA flag with the American on top of the pole does it need to be a certain amount of inches he is asking?
linda, maine [09-21-2011]

The Flag Code is silent on the space between flags.

A Kansas City Marine Vet burned the Amercn flag on July 14th 2011 this flag was one he recived upon his honorable discharge from the Corps. He and his buddies doused it lighter fluid held it upside down and set it on fire he than says we are to give this flag the only proper salute it deserves and proceeds to flip the flag off giving it the middle finger. I belive his action make the Corps look bad and dishonor the Corps and all others who have fought to preserve our freedom.Please if you are going to burn our flag wrap yoursel in it first ! what are your thoughts
anonymous [09-20-2011]

I have seen people flying flags particularly larger ones and they raise the up but they leave it down about 1 or 2 feet from the top of the pole and the rope is all loose is this proper I thought the flag should be raised all the way so that the top of the flag is at the peak of the pole?
anonymous [09-19-2011]

The flag should be raised to the top.

A local high school is flying two flags on two poles. The US flag is on the viewer's left, which is correct. However, the US flag is flown approximately one to two feet below the top of the staff. The other flag pole (flag changes from state flag to some accreditation program) is always flown at the top of its staff. When brought to the school's attention, the principal stated that when the US flag is raised to the top, it catches on the building, so it's kept a "little" lower to show respect. I think it is disrespectful to fly any flag above the US flag, even if it's just a "little". Two questions. Can the flag be flown below the peak of the staff (obviously, not including when flown at half-staff)? If so, how are other flags on other poles handled? Thank you.
anonymous, Riveria Beach, FL [09-19-2011]

The school should reposition the pole so that the US flag does not "catch on the building."

What is, if any, the difference between "Half Mast" and "Half Staff"? I've noticed this on some of the links to the flag codes.
Jeff Lechner, Amberly Village, Ohio [09-18-2011]

who chooses the office flag flying days in the USA
Mi [09-17-2011]

The official days are specified in the Flag Code, which was created by the US Congress. States also specify official days for flying the flag.

I fly two flags from my front porch on seperate diagnal poles. THe American Flag and the 82nd Airborne Flag. As I srand and look at the house from the street, which side should the American flag be on?
Mark Byrd, Colimbia SC [09-17-2011]

The US flag should be on the viewer's left, from the street.

Mark Byrd [09-17-2011]

do i have to pay federal and state tax when i buy a flag.
Tracy Sunerland, illinois [09-17-2011]

I spend the winter in Yuma AZ. at a RV park that will not let me display the American flag, is this legal? As I read the code I should be able to display the flag in a proper manner. I have my own RV and they do not own the lot that is in the RV park.
Bruce, SW New Mexico- Veteran [09-16-2011]

Reasonable restrictions are usually permitted, however courts have generally found that conventional displays of the flag must be permitted.

A local area soldier died acctullay one of the ones killed at the Nevada IHOP I am lining the street to pay respects I was going to hold a 4x6ft US flag on a pole but was told only color guards can use them that I must use a small stick flag is there any truth to that or are my actions acceptable? need awnser thank you
anonymous [09-16-2011]

As a private citizen, you may certainly carry a 4x6 flag on a pole.

how are you supposed to fly your flag at night?
Trysten, sioux falls, sd [09-16-2011]

"when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness."

Good afternoon. I have a question for you. It is disrespectful if I would hot glue my American Flag to the wall in my classroom? I want to hang it higher so that students are not able to jump up and hit it. I have seen it before, but wasn't sure if this was acceptable or not
Bradley Wagner, Rock Hill, SC Middle School Teacher / Coach [09-16-2011]

Use your best judgment. Be sure it is respectful of the flag.

Is flying the american flag dailey in your yard protected by your 1st amendment rights. Some Home Owner Associations do not permit you to fly the flag except on National holidays
Loren Vevon, Charleston SC [09-14-2011]

I am making a honor board of Military, border patrol, police, firefighters the ones who put there lives on the line everyday for this country. I put up and america flag then taped pictures of people who serve in these fields on the flag with names if there alive or dead to show respect for ones who are fighting for this country is that ok. People who see it thinks it is a beautiful display. The vets love it. Is is disrespectful to display it that way. Thank you
Melssa, Washington State [09-14-2011]

Fight the Fight do not allow any longer American Flag being flown under and circumstances disgracefully-including weather beaten,dirty,torn tathered. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
cal shummon, ilcongressionalveterans-liaison-p.o. box 346177 chicago,illinois 60634 [09-13-2011]

Can you have a ceremony for a flag which has no floor stand? If so, how do you do it? We used all our troop's money to buy the flag but find it has no floor stand. Please help
Michele, New Girl Scout Leader [09-13-2011]

A great project for your scouts would be to make a flood stand for the flag.

A local group of individuals has purchased banner type flags to be attached to the lamp posts within the community. The banners are attached at the top and bottom with brackets extending towards the street. The flags are mounted vertically. My question is, following the vehicular path of travel, shouldn't the union be at the furthest point away from the lamp post? Similar to the flag being hung vertically from a wall? I did question an individual and they assured me that it was a banner and not a flag so as such, no flag code applies. What is your opinion? I beg to dissagree.
anonymous [09-13-2011]

There are various opinions on this. I agree with yours, that the blue field should be at the upper left in the direction of travel.

Once again, the giant flags were displayed horizonally on playing fields across the country yesterday at sporting events honoring 9/11. In all cases the military was participating and sometimes carrying the flag onto the fields. Doesn't anyone think that the flag code needs to be amended for this reverent display that has become a tradition? Flag Code, Section 8c, which reads: "The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free."
Art, Near Seattle [09-12-2011]

is flying the blue star banner flag with the word we honor those who serve can that be flown at a elementary school if so on POW flag days can it be moved to the pole Nebraska is on so the POW is undwer the US
anonymous [09-12-2011]

According to Flag Rules Section 8j. of the Flag Code states, "No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform." Major League Baseball was in violation with Flags on the back of their uniforms & Caps on Sept. 11th 2011.
Luke A. Lorge, California [09-12-2011]

God bless all 9-11-01 victims and families
anonymous [09-12-2011]

Good info here. Thanks!
Rick Evans, California [09-12-2011]

I have a wall mounted flag with no pole. For half staff times what am I supposed to do to it?
Hank smith, Arlington tx [09-12-2011]

Is it all right to weight a flag so it does not wrap around the pole?
Robb Reid, Plymouth,Ma [09-12-2011]

You may do so discreetly.

I have been internet researching for over two hours and still have no answer to the following: I have a deck in the back of my home from which I would prefer to hang the American flag via a bracket and pole. This flag would be viewed by many more people (a neighborhood of backyardigans) than if I displayed it out front. Am I violating some kind of etiquette by displaying a flag in back of my home, but not in front?
Milo, Midwest [09-12-2011]

The Flag Code does not require you to fly the flag from the front of your house. You may fly it anywhere as long as the display is respectful of the flag.

Spouse died and I want to fly the flag at half mast on the anniversary of his death and his birthday. Is that ok?
Walker, veteran's wife [09-12-2011]

You may wish to consider a display of black crepe near your front door, perhaps with a photograph.

I grew up as a military brat. The flag represents freedom and should be respected.
Stacey, pa [09-12-2011]

thanks for awnsering the half staff question ill be gone one night and I want to display additional flags around my house one of the is a larger 3x5 not a stick therefore it should belit at night but is one night without a light ok it is kinda lit by moon and it is in my backyard so not many would see it this ok?
anonymous [09-09-2011]

Yall were very helpful.Thank you
Frank Newton, Boerne,Tx.VERY PROUD AMERICAN [09-08-2011]

I am going to be gone Sunday Flags are to be at half staff if I lower Saturday morning when I leave town is this acceptable and rasie them up Sunday night when im back That work?
anonymous [09-08-2011]

We all do the best we can.

we have been asked to assist with a 9/11 ceremony locally, one of our scouts is collecting flags for retirement, the person who is heading the ceremony wanted the stars from the flags which were being retired to hand out after the ceremony, can you advise if cutting the stars from the blue field and handing them out is acceptable? The remains of the flags will be retired at a later date. I have mixed emotions and have seen where some groups are sending the stars to military in care packages.
Ann Cook, Georgia, Scoutmaster wife, [09-08-2011]

We advise against cutting the stars from the flag. It is not what is recommended by the Flag Code.

united states code chapter iv title 1 how come this is not enforced.
cal shummon, chicago,illinois [09-08-2011]

The Supreme Court has ruled that enforcement would be a violation of your First Amendment rights.

Can you hang a Seasonal Welcome banner under the US Flag on a flag pole in front of an elementary school? It is not advertising anything...just welcoming students and parents.
Faydra Christensen, South Dakota [09-08-2011]

There is nothing in the Flag Code forbidding this. It is acceptable as long as it maintains the dignity of the US flag.

My understanding is that the flags hanging in court rooms, etc. are incorrect. The only flag to have fringe is a maritime flag, not a land flag. Is that correct?
Cecilia Clemens, Arizona [09-07-2011]

If a US flag cannot be flown at half staff is it proper to hang a black bunting on/with it? If so, where does the bunting go?
Wayne Ashley, Media, PA [09-05-2011]

Many Rotary Clubs have started Fly the Flag Programs where for an annual subscription, the club will place a flag in their year on specific holidays. The flags are typically 3' x 5' on a 10' pole, and are usually left up for 1 or 2 weeks around the holiday. There clubs can have anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand flag subscriptions. After the holiday, the flags are collected and rolled up and stored indoors. The program seems to be a great way to foster community patriotism, but some have critized because they cannot be illuminated at night. Are there any rules or suggestions for this type of display, and are there any rules on storage of flags in this situation?
anonymous [09-05-2011]

The Flag Code states that the flag should be illuminated at night.

When multiple flags are displayed, as at an athletic event, i.e. one on a pole and one posted by a color guard. I always thought the colors under guard should be saluted. I cannot find any reference to this protocol. Can you help?
charles mccracken [09-05-2011]

Usually, the high flag above the scoreboard is the one you face during the national anthem.

Is it lEgal to light the flag with a Sodium Light? The VFW says no because it alters the Colors of the Flag Especially the White Is This True?
Dudley Jenkins, Proud Veteran Vietnam [09-05-2011]

The Flag Code makes no such distinction. Use your best judgment.

I just put up my new flagpole last week but do to the weather I started flying the us flag this labor day weekend.CAN I fly my confederate flag under the american flag to show that I was born down south.
Todd Runge, Cyrus MN [09-05-2011]

According to the Flag Code, yes.

what is the order of the flags. is it a rifle on both sides of the american flag state flag on the right of the american flag and school flag on the left of the american flag. please get back to me with the answer my school is not doing it right thank you.
Alex Defibaugh, Norther Bedford High School Loysburg, PA [09-03-2011]

From the viewer's perspective, US flag on left; school flag on the right. The guns on the outsides of all and any flags.

WHERE did I state we were going to fly these in place of the US Flag???? All we would like to do is fly at least one of them UNDER, I REPEAT, UNDER the US Flag. Not in place of. Being they are in the "OTHER" catagory means it would be the lowest. Back on 08-05-2011 someone asked you the order to fly the American, 911 & Pow/Mia flags. You replied Quote "In order of prominence, they are: US, POW/MIA, 911" Unquote. So your response to his question seems to suggest that it IS ACCEPTABLE to fly either or both UNDER the United States Flag on the same pole. Is that correct?
Joesph Scott, Ohio [09-03-2011]

That is correct.

CLICK
Jessica Mikolajczyk, Fremont, Ohio [09-03-2011]

What is the OFFICIAL catagory for the 9/11 "Flag of Honor" and "Flag of Heroes"? I've been told they fall under the "OTHER" catagory and may be flown under the US Flag. Is this correct? Our company wants to fly one for the month of September to honor those who sacrificed their lives on 9-11-01. One employee has threatened legal action if we do because it violates Section 8g of the Flag Code. What is the official standing on this when you only have one flag pole? Thank You
Joesph Scott, Ohio [09-02-2011]

Neither is officially recognized, so you are correct that they are "other" flags. They should not be used in place of the US flag.

My local school marching band is doing a fall parade later this fal We want to have the US NE and POW flags carried in front of the band would this be correct left to right viwers perspective Guard with saber US, NE POW guard no saber ? we used to march the US flag only in the past and only use one saber iis it proper to have one guard with saber and one without? is order correct? Need awnser thank you
anonymous [09-02-2011]

Today when I got home from school I noticed my appartment conplex was flying the flag in an unusual and in my opinion disrespectful manor. The top hole was connected to the flag pole, but instead of the bottom hole being conected to the rope the bottom right corner was tied to the pole to keep the flag up and not flying everywhere. I have looked at many sights and I can't find the answer I am looking for, but what Im currious about is how do i report this? I am a veteran and honestly I feel this is very disrespectful and I am really embarrassed to be seen living here. I am going to go take a picture incase I need it for proof. Thank you, Alex
Alex Beck, Noblesville, IN [09-01-2011]

You should talk to the super and have the flag displayed on the pole as it was designed to be used.

Local school has four flags on one staff. US flag is at top, blue ribbon flag is second, followed by the county flag and the state flag. This looks wrong. What is the proper protocol.
Concerned in Old Line State, Maryland [09-01-2011]

From the top, it should be: US, state, county, blue ribbon

In a commissioning ceremony after college commencement, how should the National Ensign, Service flags, and College Flag be displayed on stage. Thanks.
Gary Sweeney, Retired Marine Officer, College administrator [09-01-2011]

Our Community is flying the American Flag at half-staff when one of our residents dies. Many of us feel that this should not be done. Please confirm with us what you think is the proper thing to do Micki Williams Murrells Inlet, SC
anonymous [09-01-2011]

Burger king needs to get their head out of their buns and realize that if someone request to take down the flag just do it then there would be no legal mess John Henderson you did the right thing I have been in the same postion before if I would go to jail I d be proud to do so means that I did this for Old Glory
anonymous [08-31-2011]

I am visiting my cousins in the maine and they have just got a new american flag if it proper ettiquete for them to gift me their old flag to take home with me
moyra, fredericton new brusnwick [08-31-2011]

If it's still in good shape, it's a wonderful gift.

As I understand the proper flying of the flag, the union of the flag should be in the upper left corner as you are looking at it. Why are the flags on shoulders of the current Army camoflaged fatigues shown with the union in the upper right position?
William M. Jett, Ashland VA [08-31-2011]

Burger King was flying a large American Flag that was so tattered I asked them to take it down because it was very disrespectful to our country and all the men and women who have given their lives for it. I took it down myself and took it to the V.F.W. to be retired the proper way.The owner or manager wanted to have me arrested for stolen property. Ya,sure come get me!.
John Henderson, Marblehead, ohio 43440/ Viet Nam Vet [08-30-2011]

It is my understanding that the flag of The United States should only be manufactured in the United States. Is this true? If so please provide the appropriate reference. Thanks for your help. Keep up The Good Work....Bruce
Bruce Myer, Maine [08-29-2011]

The Genuine American Flag Act is pending in Congress that would require US flags to be manufactured in the US. You can write your Representative in support of this bill, which is in committee.

Webmaster, you asked me to post this information if I found it: I've found the answer to part of my previous question concerning flag protocols for members and veterans of the US Public Health Service (and other commissioned corps). I contacted the PHS, and they referred me to the Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA). The following is a quote from the VA website for federal benefits for veterans (http://www1.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp [click on "INTRODUCTION AND ACRONYMS"]): "General Eligibility - Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration (a predecessor of NOAA) or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), or ... the Coast and Geodetic Survey (another predecessor of NOAA)." Active service for 2 years (or death, disability, or aggravation of an existing disability while in active service) qualifies officers of the commissioned corps of PHS (under DHHS), NOAA (under DoC), and their organizational predecessors for VA benefits, INCLUDING BURIAL WITH FULL MILITARY HONORS (VA-provided flag, honor guard, burial in VA cemeteries, etc.) and the same family benefits available to families of the five DoD branches. What I haven't found is information specific to the rights & privileges under the US flag code, which uses the term "veterans" only three times - once to name the holiday Veterans Day, and twice to refer to veterans of the "armed forces," who may salute during flag raising ceremonies & the playing of the National Anthem instead of holding their right hands over their hearts, like non-veteran civilians. A governor's discretion to order the US flag to half staff in honor of someone who dies in active duty is specified as active duty in the "armed forces." I think "armed forces" probably refers to the five DoD branches, and not the PHS or NOAA, though I think it's possible that's open to interpretation, and maybe a simple discontinuity in terminology between the US flag code and the VA's publication "Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors," 2011 edition, which does not use the term "armed forces." IMO, if a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft crashes and kills two dozen NOAA officers, I think the governor of a state where many of those officers came from should be able to order flags in the state to be flown at half staff. They gave their lives to protect American citizens and American interests. I plan to write a letter to the president giving my opinion that the flag code should be amended to add "or the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or NOAA" after each mention of "armed forces," and the addition of a definition of the term "veteran" to include the definition used by the VA. Anyone with me?
Don Sweet, St Paul, MN [08-29-2011]

what are the rules concerning having flags in catholic churches in San Antonio,Texas. Who's call is it for flags to be placed in the church?
anonymous [08-29-2011]

Since the Betsy Ross flag is a living flag subject to the Flag Code, are the Second Revolution and Threeper flags desecrations of the Betsy Ross flag?
Ken Scherer, Canton, GA [08-26-2011]

in a hurricane we have limited stuff we can take should we burn our flag so that it is not left behind and destroyed by storms
anonymous [08-26-2011]

No you should not do that. Put your flag in a safe place inside and hope the storm passes without doing harm to your home.

I would like to see on your Wall of Shame pictures of the Tea Partiers' Second Revolution flag and the Threeper Flag, both of which, according to my understanding of your adherence to the Flag Code, are desecrations of the Betsy Ross flag.
Ken Scherer, Canton, GA, USA [08-26-2011]

If I am displaying an all weather US flag on the flagpole, should I place the hurricane warning flag below the us flag?
Tom Denault, Springfield, MA. [08-25-2011]

It is not usual for people to fly the hurricane warning flag. When a hurricane is approaching, even an all-weather flag should be taken down for safety. The Flag Code does not forbid flying the two on the same pole, US flag on top.

I want to put ten flags on the main road on the fence in 911 memory . I don't want to get arrested or fined . I think it's important to remember but I don't want to break the law. What do you recommend?
Nicole Mackey, Pittsburg CA 94565 [08-24-2011]

If it is public property, then contact your town; if it's your private property, then you may display them as you wish, preferably according to the guidelines in the Flag Code.

Can city ordinance prohibit the flying of an US flag or nations flags properly?
Chet Wong, Surprise, AZ [08-23-2011]

Yes, but I expect that most restrictions would be found unconstitutional, if challenged.

recently we have recieved a request for members to cut the stars from the union of retired colors. these stars would be placed in a small plastic bag with a patriotic statement, to encourage americanism. is this a violation of flag etiquette?
David Wilkinson, Adjutant, American Legion Post 45, Palatka FL [08-22-2011]

It is not what the Flag Code recommends.

Ive seen youtube videos of flag rasings where Taps is played when the flag goes up is this right
anonymous [08-22-2011]

Please check out ABC World News on Diane Sawyer Made in America .. they are in violation of the flag code by using a flag with vertical stipes (I believe to represent a barcode?). Is there any way you can make them remove it and replace with an appropriate flag. The link is www.abcnews.go.com/WN/MadeInAmerica
anonymous [08-20-2011]

Write to ABC to complain.

The company I work for has two 28 ft flag poles at the main entrance to the property. The poles are located near the guard shack at the gate and the US flag is raised and lowered by the guard on shift daily. Presently we only fly the US flag, but are having a company banner designed to be flown on the other pole. An auditor told us that we must fly the Florida state flag on the other pole, if we fly any flag. In other words, we must, by state rules, fly the state flag if two flags are to be flown. He said that we must either erect a third pole, or fly the company banner beneath the state flag. I can find no reference to this on any State of Florida website. Is this true, and do you have a reference.
Chuck Jones, Panama City, Florida [08-20-2011]

Private companies are not bound by the Flag Code. Displaying the company flag beneath the state flag on a second pole is commonplace, but not required. Ask the auditor to support his position on this.

To Richard Owens: The flag code also says that the US flag must not be used for advertizing in any way. They shouldn't fly the US flag in any way that's intended to attract customers to do business with them. It's just vulgar. Car dealerships often like to call attention to themselves with lots of flags in their ads and on their premises. I think it's cynical and insulting that they think flying more flags gives the appearance that they are more American than their competition. It really saddens me that it's so effective.
Don Sweet, St Paul, MN [08-19-2011]

Our local VFW post is placing a veterans memorial at a local cemetery. the memorial will have two panels. The front of the panels will have names of deceased veterans. On the back side we want to place an etching of the U.S.Flag on one panel and the Texas flag on the other panel. When looking at the back of the memorial panels should the U.S. Flag be to the observers left or the observers left?
David Teichman, Wichita Falls, Texas/Veteran [08-19-2011]

The US flag should be on the observer's left; the Texas flag on the observer's right.

We want to start presenting retiring personnel with a flag that has been flown over Fort Leonard Wood, along with a certificate stating such. After some research, I assume this practice is not in place here. So, if we are to fly the flags ourselves, military retirees, would it be right to use an available flagpole (at a vacant building, etc.) at any time of day to raise and lower the flags? Or should we wait until after 1700 to do so?
Tracy Dunken, Fort Leonard Wood, MO/Retired Navy - 23 years [08-17-2011]

This is a question you need to take up with Fort Leonard Wood.

I see the U.S. Flag being displayed at cardealerships. sometime when looking at the U.S. and Texas flags it seems the flags are not in the right ordwe. Should the US flag go on the left at all times. The Texas flag can be the same height. Right or wrong
richard owens, Amarillo,tx Veteran Army 1967-1969 [08-17-2011]

If there are more than one US flags, one should be at the leftmost point (viewer's perspective, approaching). The Texas flag can be the same height or lower.

When two flags are on the same flag pole with the American flag on top, the lower one can be larger, True or False.
Chuck Paquette, GrandIsle LA. [08-17-2011]

The Flag Code is silent on this question (assuming it's not a foreign national flag). However, convention and respect dictate that the second flag should be the same size or smaller than the US flag.

We keep getting phone calls about our flags in front of our property from Staff Sgnt Stevens. He states that our flags are hung wrong and we are in violation, The American flag is on the right and the Texas flag is on the left, we hang the American flag first then the Texas flag, the flags are the same size and hang evenly. Sgnt Stevens wants us to lower the Texas flag pole. Is this correct or do we need to lower our Texas flag?
Lauralee Goodman, Killeen, Texas [08-17-2011]

The two flags can fly at the same height. Approaching, the US flag should be on the viewer's left.

Scroll down on this page of the Obama visit to Cannon Falls. One would think that if the Commander in Chief is visiting one's town, the decor would be legal/up to code. Check the bunting used....Just because the dollar store sells this stuff doesn't mean it's appropriate. CLICK specifically: CLICK
dennise williams, Northeast Minnesota, yes it's often really cold up here. [08-16-2011]

My flag blew into the mud on a really windy day. Would it be proper to put it through the washing machine if I used the delicate cycle? What if I can't get the stain out?
Jay Kaleel, Missouri [08-16-2011]

You can make your best efforts to clean the flag. Some dry cleaners will clean flags for free.

Does the National flag to be removed from the poll if it rains?
raman, Kodaikanal [08-15-2011]

An all-weather flag can be used even during a rainstorm.

to Veron Hilyer you might want to approach him and ask why the US flag is down however the flagcode does not prohibit the display of any flag without the US maybe you could offer to buy him a US Flag or a second hook for 2 flags
anonymous [08-12-2011]

We recently had a Pa State police/ Passed US Marine move into our neighborhood. Actually he moved into a house I built in 1991 and sold in 2000. I built a second House nearby at that time. The first house was a 2 story and I erected a 28 ft flag pole there with a 5x8 flag with (2) 200 watt spot lights. I heard many comments on how great it looked. Upon this new owner moving in he quickly put up a US Marine flag on that pole all by it's self. I feel disrespect but don't see in here where it's wrong. I my mind if your not proud to fly a US Flag then who cares if you were a Marine?
Vernon Hilyer, Clarion Pa [08-13-2011]

I have been trying to display flags at our area race tracks, Amsoil Speedway in Superior, WI and Proctor Speedway in Proctor, MN. within the guidelines of your flag rules and regulations. Many people have their own opinions of what is proper, therefore showing your lists of display and etiquette have helped "Keep the record straight" as to what is proper. Thank you
George Korich, Duluth, MN [08-09-2011]

I visit frequently to make sure myself and those around me follow the flag code to the best of our abilities. I had a question, however; that I cannot find the answer to on here. If flying two flags such as the American Flag and a POW/MIA flag or an American Flag and Army Flag, what should the size ratio be between the two flags. Example, if the American Flag is a 5x8 is there a correct size for the second flag when it is flown below on the same pole?
PFC Jeremy Roznowski, Missouri [08-09-2011]

The Flag Code is silent on this question. Conventionally, the sizes of the flags should be approximately equal, or the US flag larger.

Some of us in the department want to leave the flag up at all times. There is one member who says the only time its to be up is on special occasions,( holidays, parades, etc.) Who in the dept. is correct. Thanks Your Proud Volunteer Firefighters.
Jeff, Monaca Pa / firefighter [08-08-2011]

my dad and I were taking the flag down the other night it was at half staff for a soldier. a storm was coming and we were trying to get it down we have a teloscoping pole so I had to clip the flags to the top rings to put them full staff before taking them down as I started to do this my dad just yanked the flag back down unclipped it and threw them on top of his dirty tarp that covers the box on his truck and that really ticked me off cuase that was a fairly new flag.after he went in I grabbed the flag and put it up at full staff then took it down and folded it. Did I do the right thing?
anonymous [08-08-2011]

Yes you did.

Dear Webmaster, I hope you don't mind my taking this on. I want to address the good question posted anonymously head-on. I think it must be explained so that good Americans can understand what's truly at stake when freedom of speech & expression are eroded. I know I put some emotionally charged statements out there, and I know some good Americans are likely to be upset by my opinions, though I know all here support my right to have them and to speak them, and I deeply thank those who have done so much to defend and preserve those and other rights that I enjoy as an American. I sincerely do. And thank you, Webmaster, for maintaining this open forum as an environment where free speech can exist (which I don't believe is required here on a non-government ".org" site). Finally, thank you, Webmaster, for tolerating my lengthy posts on this very delicate issue. I'm a proud American like everyone else here (we're all on the same side), and I think it only strengthens us as a People to discuss and thoroughly understand this issue. We Americans will always disagree, which only makes us stronger, and I will embrace the decisions of the Supreme Court and any and all amendments to the Constitution on this issue.
• To further elaborate the rationale for flag burning as free speech, see the Timeline of Flag Desecration Issues page.
• Please note: All of my opinions posted on this page refer only to civilian use and abuse of the US flag. Military personnel and government officials (who represent the US to the rest of the world) must be held to a higher standard, and I believe any public act of flag desecration should at least cost any of these people their jobs.
• Speech means expressing an opinion or emotion or communicating an idea or a feeling or anything else (that doesn't suppress the rights or threaten the safety of others), and it doesn't have to be verbal as far as the Supreme Court is concerned. (2 points: 1. Some people cannot speak verbally, and they deserve options. 2. Words always have different meanings to lawyers, and there were lawyers helping to draft the Constitution.)
• Keep in mind that our Constitution dictates what our government shall and shall not do. If congress shall pass no law restricting freedom of speech, then Congress shall pass no such law. NOWHERE in the Constitution is it written that foreign visitors are exempt from this and other rights. The Constitution only spells out the structure, scope, and powers of our government and its officials. It does NOT GRANT RIGHTS. Those rights are assumed to reside in every person, not just Americans. Congress shall pass no law restricting those rights. (This applies to foreign nationals who wish to speak freely and protest against our flag.)
• If we can say what we feel (freedom of speech) but not demonstrate the reality of what we feel (freedom of expression), free speech becomes a very weak freedom, which I think is dangerous in our country.
• Civil, peaceful protest is an important means of bringing about positive change in our country, whether it's with tea bags or with peace signs or with other means that might make many of us sick. We can all turn off the news or look away if we don't want to see it, remembering such things are a cost of true freedom (which is never free), and if you are a person of faith, you can say a prayer for the flag burner(s) that they might find peace in their hearts and love and respect for their countrymen & women.
• The following are some highlights from the "Timeline of Flag Desecration Issues" page that explain how flag desecration falls under freedom of speech (which is the same as freedom of expression, according to the Supreme Court):
• 1931: Stromberg v. California (283 U.S. 359) To paraphrase, the US Supreme Court found that symbols are a type of speech (and therefore protected under the First Amendment), that a flag (any kind) is a symbol, and symbolic speech through flag use is protected by the First amendment.
• 1974: Spence v. Washington (418 U.S. 405) "The [Supreme] Court again found under the First Amendment there was not a sufficient governmental interest to justify regulating this form of symbolic speech (flag desecration by taping a peace sign over a US flag)."
• 1989: Texas v. Johnson (491 U.S. 397) "In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Brennan, the Court first found that burning the flag was a form of symbolic speech subject to protection under the First Amendment... The [federal] law [which was stricken down by this decision] was not based on protecting the physical integrity of the flag in all circumstances, but was DESIGNED TO PROTECT IT FROM SYMBOLIC PROTEST likely to cause offense to others" (Emphasis added by me.) In other words, Americans have the right to protest by attacking and damaging the US flag as a symbol of what (they believe) it stands for, and speech likely to offend others is still protected. (That's why Nazis, who were once enemies of the US, can shout all the offensive nonsense they feel like shouting, as long as they remain peacefully assembled. That's why the swastika flag cannot be banned in the US as it is in Germany.) None of us has the right under the Constitution to be free from being offended by our fellow Americans. Our flag has no right to be physically protected from symbolic protest. That's a price we pay for freedom, and IMO it's well worth it. Some people are rather easily offended. What a mess that would be!
• 1990: United States v. Eichman (496 U.S. 310) "The [Supreme] Court held that... the [Federal Flag Desecration Statute] continued to be principally aimed at limiting symbolic speech." Again, the old notion of symbolic speech being Constitutionally protected is applied. It's not even questioned anymore because it's on such solid legal footing. Imagine if we started banning certain symbols or the desecration of symbols. A lit cigarette on a sign symbolizes smoking. Covering it with a red circle with a line through (indicating no smoking) it is a desecration of that symbol. Where would we draw the line if we don't accept that symbolic speech is all protected?
• 2000: Bush v. Gore. (We all remember this one.) No, it's not a flag case, but it was an incredibly important moment in American history that relates to this issue in a broader sense. The national reaction to the final Supreme Court decision showed the world a huge part of what America is about. We respect the rule of law. We respect the decisions of the Supreme Court as final. We move on with our lives. We accept the decisions we disagree with because we know our system can never be perfect as long as it is free. There was no mass rioting, insurrection, or revolution. Many Americans who supported Vice President Gore were quite angry, and many still feel cheated to this day, but no one brought bills to their state legislatures to secede from the Union. We did not face a national crisis because Americans respect the rule of law and the finality of the Supreme Court enough to put our country first. Both conservatives and liberals do that alike. Governor Bush became the unquestioned President Bush, the legal challenges from the Gore campaign ceased immediately, and the people clearly chose President Bush for a second term. When the Supreme Court decision was announced, and we Americans accepted it peacefully, gracefully, and finally, I was extraordinarily proud of my country! Imagine that happening anywhere else other than our great nation! Well, the Supreme court has spoken clearly and unequivocally on the issue of flag desecration as protected symbolic speech. I think that, however we feel about the issue, we need to repeat the history lesson from December of 2000 and accept the Supreme Court's final authority. (It is, after, final under our awesome Constitution.) We're Americans, and we can handle it!
• Thank you again for providing this forum, and for allowing me to try to explain respectfully the highly emotional issues I brought up. I truly don't mean to offend other Americans, though I accept that many will disagree strongly after reading this, and some will indeed feel offended. (I expect that and I will proudly read such comments, knowing that in the USA it's ok to disagree and speak freely anyway because we're Americans, and we get to do that. We have to do that!) Rather, I want to defend the greatest freedom (in my opinion) that defined us as a nation apart from others, the freedom of speech. Again, if freedom of speech only applies to issues that don't matter much, it is only the shadow of freedom. Freedom is not risk-free. Americans can handle this, and our flag and our pride in our nation are only strengthened and born anew when some angry protester desecrates one (you all know that happens!), because we are strong enough to take it! If you see a protester burning a flag in person or on the news, use it as a reason to hang a new flag in your window, or wherever you wish to display Old Glory - we will never run out of new flags. We are free enough to allow this to happen. We must stay free! Don't chip away at the dream of our forefathers! Please respect this freedom, and accept it as a cost of remaining a free and self-determined people! With highest respect to our nation and our freedom, and to those who still believe it's worth fighting for, Don.
Don Sweet, St Paul, MN [08-08-2011]

how can flag burning be free speech I dont hear anyone talking.
anonymous [08-06-2011]

Symbolic speech is a form of speech, according to the US Supreme Court.

In reading some of these posts, a few thoughts occur to me:
• Nothing in the flag code prohibits a governor from posthumously declaring someone to have been a state official, such as Clarence Clemons, official state saxophonist. (I think he was a great American, as was Tim Russert.)
• Serving in the government or military is not the only way to be a great American. The flag represents us all, even those of us who truly dislike each other. (The Army wouldn't take me [or my dad] for medical reasons. Am I less American?)
• A friend of mine took the US citizenship test a few years back. He had to learn the "official" meaning of each of the 3 colors. That's a seriously difficult test, and I have a deep respect for the immigrants who pass it and pass the other often HUGE hurdles necessary to obtain US citizenship. They are Americans by choice and by working hard to earn that right.
• I'm saddened by the attempts to outlaw any form of protest, even though most people abhor desecration of our flag. Our Supreme Court has ruled consistently on the matter over several decades and determined it is a form of free speech, perhaps our most precious freedom. That means the matter is closed unless the Constitution is amended. That means it remains a right of all Americans, and it scares me how quickly some people are ready to destroy that right and other freedoms in this country out of emotion. My speech might disgust you, but didn't many of you fight to PRESERVE that right? "Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom"
• Mr. Eades, the fact that a veterans home wouldn't follow the flag code really shocks me. I wish you well in your struggle, though I also hope you choose your battles wisely. It's you who might face homelessness, not the director. Good luck, and I hope you update this guestbook! Thanks again for this website! I think good Americans should ask questions, and this website has a lot of answers!
Don Sweet, St Paul, MN [08-06-2011]

I don't think there's a contradiction in 7c. It says in part, "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 American flag]." The word "equal" isn't restricted in this clause to mean only height. To most people that might not be obvious because right after "equal" is the word "above," but to a lawyer the lack of mention of height as it might relate to "equal" means all the difference in the world. Throughout the flag code are references to positions of prominence, and I think it's more likely that the lawyer who wrote the language of this clause was referring to "equal" in a much broader sense to mean forms of prominence, not height. The US flag is always placed to its right, at the same height as a foreign national flag. This is not an equal position but a position of prominence. Question: The branches of service referred to on the FAQ page include the Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy, & Coast Guard. Is there any protocol for the Public Health Service? It's a MUCH smaller service than the others, but it's uniformed and ranked, with the Surgeon General in command, deriving the rank of general from that branch. They defend the public from threats (foreign and domestic) that are not limited to (but include) human attackers. Generally it's a much safer job than the larger branches unless there's an outbreak. If there is no protocol for them (funeral services or otherwise), I think there should be. Thank you for this wonderful and informative website!
Don Sweet, St Paul, MN [08-06-2011]

I have never seen any protocol for the Public Health Service. Let me know if you discover otherwise.

My son just entered the Marines. As a gift a friend gave me a large Marine garden flag. What are the rules for a garden flag? I do not have any other flags displayed in my yard. Thanks Jill
jill sunderland, parent of a marine [08-06-2011]

Displaying only the one garden flag, there are no constraints.

I have 3 flags, American,911,Pow/Mia. What order would I hang them on poles outside my window?
William F. Shields, Wharton, NJ [08-05-2011]

In order of prominence, they are: US, POW/MIA, 911

Thank you for a wonderful & insightful website. I learned a lot more about our Flag & its history. Kudos to you. The only thing I have a concern about is on the FAQ page where it talks about a contradiction with flying other nation flags the same height as ours (Sections 7c & 7g). I noticed you listed them in reverse order (not sure why). In order it states (to paraphrase) no other flag is to be flown equal to the US flag (7c), THEN it states flags of two or more nations will be flown the same...in a time of peace. They don't contradict each other. 7c clarifies US flag is to be given the honor & flown higher. 7g references OTHER nations. For example, in a time of peace with both Canada & Mexico, it would be rude/improper to fly one higher than the other. However, if ever at war with them & we still flew their flags, that would be the allowable variation. Either way, the US flag is to be flown above, then all other nations we will view as equal to each other, but not given the prominence of the US Flag.
Michael FInn, WA State / American [08-04-2011]

As a member of a funeal honors group (Veterans Service Oraganization), that frequently does funeral honors, this resource is a great help to us. Questions frequenly come up and now we have a definitive source for the correct information.
Alphonse Letendre, Colchester, CT / Retired [08-02-2011]

Nebraska does not issue a proclamation to half staff flags for soldiers that die I however called the govenors office and got permission to do mine at half staff should the flag be lowered for non combat related deaths too? What do you think?
anonymous [08-02-2011]

The Flag Code authorizes Governors to issue proclamations to half-staff the flag upon the death of a member (from that state) of the Armed Forces who dies while serving on active duty.

I was watching a parade and belive it or not I saluted the flag yes I saluted very rare these days for most but anyway I am a Sons of Legion member in the parade the legion has at its national convetions the department of Minnesota was having all its members carry the big 4'x6' US Flags they stopped in front of me for about a minute or two. I maintained salute till thay were past if a color guard stops in front of me for a moment do I drop the salute then return to saluting once they move till the colors are past? or did I do the right thing by keeping the salute?
anonymous [08-02-2011]

I think you did the right thing.

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