Many Americans have been displaying the nation’s flag for Memorial Day, but some may not be aware of the proper protocol for handling Old Glory.
Here are some tips for proper flag etiquette, and a list of things you should not do with the flag.
Outdoors, the flag should ordinarily be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night, and saluted as it is hoisted and lowered.
When it is displayed against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag’s own right, and to the observer’s left.
The U.S. flag should be at the center and highest point of the group when a number of flags are grouped for display. When it is flown with flags of states, communities, etc., no other flag may be larger, placed above it, or raised before or after it.
When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, everyone should face the flag and salute.
When flag is very worn, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. (Most American Legion posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14.)
Never dip the flag to a person or thing. It is only flown upside down as a distress signal.
Never use the flag as drapery or covering. Bunting of red, white and blue is available for that.
Never let any part of the flag touch the ground or any other object when it’s being lowered. It should be received by waiting hands and folded ceremoniously for storage.
Never lower it into a grave, even when it’s used to cover a casket.
For more tips, go to www.usflag.org.