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General Flagpole and Staff Display

As an important symbol of our nation's unity and strength for more than 200 years, the American flag should always be displayed with dignity and respect. The general guidelines listed below will help you follow correct flag protocol as you display your flag.

The Flag Code  When to Fly the Flag Displaying More Than One Flag

  • It is the universal custom to openly display the flag on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs only from sunrise to sunset. Flags may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if the flag is properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
  • When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall the union, or blue field, should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed the same way, with the union to the left of the observer in the street. (Image #1)
  • No other flag or pennant should be placed above, or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea. 
  • The flag of the United States of America should be flown at the peak when it is flown on the same staff with the flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies. (Image #2)
  • When flags are flown on adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States of America should be hoisted first and lowered last. No flag or pennant should be placed above the flag of the United States of America or to the right of the flag of the United States of America. (Image #3)
  • When the flag of the United States of America is displayed with another flag against a wall with crossed staffs, it should be on the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of the other flag. (Image #4)
  • The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and the highest point of the group when a number of flags or pennants are displayed. (Image #5)
  • When the flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be displayed on separate staffs of the same height. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace. (Image #6)
  • The flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag should not be displayed equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or in place of the United States Flag at any place in the United States or any Territory of the United States of America. However, it is not unlawful to do so at the headquarters of the United Nations.

Full U.S. Flag Code Documentation
[From The Flag Code of the United States- Public Law 94-344, July 7, 1976]


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