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American flag on pole against blue skye.

11 June . 2020

Flag Day and Flag Etiquette

The American flag has a long history, and is our nation's most iconic symbol of freedom. Each component of the flag has unique and special meaning. While the flag it self stands for respect, honor, and patriotism, the stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

How to display the Flag

-When displayed in a row, during a marching ceremony, or crossed with other flags, the American Flag should always be situated on the observer's left.

-If properly illuminated, the American Flag may be on display 24 hours a day. Otherwise, it should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset.

-When hung on a wall or displayed in a window, the union (stars) should always be located at the top left to the observer.

-Weatherworn, torn, or faded flags should be retired in a proper manner and never thrown in the trash. Local American Legion or VFW posts are appropriate drop off locations where flags are collected for respectful disposal.

When to display the Flag

The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on:

New Year’s Day, January 1
Inauguration Day, January 20
Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, third Monday in January
Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12
Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February
Easter Sunday (variable)
Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May
Flag Day, June 14
Father’s Day, third Sunday in June
Independence Day, July 4
Labor Day, first Monday in September
Constitution Day, September 17
Columbus Day, second Monday in October
Navy Day, October 27
Veterans Day, November 11
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day, December 25
and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
the birthdays of States (date of admission) and on State holidays.

Folding and Storing

When not on display, the flag should be respectfully folded into a triangle, symbolizing the tricorn hats worn by colonial soldiers in the Revolutionary War. The American Legion has a helpful guide for the folding process, including the meaning behind each fold.

Please visit History.com for an in depth view on America's Flag and it's origin.