- The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
- No other flag ever should be placed above it.
- The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
Raising and Lowering the FlagDisplaying the Flag Indoors
- Old Glory should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.
- Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
- The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered.
- The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.
When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.
The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.
When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.
When displaying the flag 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.
Parading and Saluting the Flag
When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers.
When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right.
When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.
- To salute Old Glory, all persons come to attention.
- Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute.
- Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart.
- Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.
The Flag in Mourning
To place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff.
The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered.
On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.
The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.
When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.
National Anthem Etiquette
- The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
- When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note.
- The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.
United States Code, Title 36, section 301:
1. Designation. — The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
2. Conduct During Playing — During rendition of the national anthem:
When the flag is displayed individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.
Keep in mind that there is no need to observe the above etiquette if you merely see the flag.
For example, at a rodeo the flag is often carried by a mounted rider. If the rider should carry the flag into the arena during a warm-up period prior to the rodeo there is no need to stand at attention and/or salute. However, when the flag is formally introduced and passes by, rules of proper etiquette and respect apply.
Now as for Women and Hats
At a rodeo it is not uncommon to find women wearing cowboy hats or some other type of hat. While the United States Code does describe the removal of "headdress," or hats, as proper etiquette for the formal presentation of the flag and the playing of the national anthem, this stipulation has not traditionally been applied to women.
Today, though, with the popularity of unisex hats among women such as a cowboy hat or ball cap, some women voluntarily remove their hat. To the best of my knowledge though, it is nonetheless not considered disrespectful if she chooses to leave it on. But as for the guys, they should take off there hats and place it over there hearts and give due respect to the symbol of our freedom and liberty.
It is worth mentioning that during the formal presentation of the flag and the national anthem, that not all "headdress" is the type that needs to be removed. For example, religious headdress such as a Jewish yamaka has always been considered an exception and may be left on.
Though most believe that there is or at least "should be" enforcement, it should be noted that while our flag and national anthem etiquette is Federal Law as defined by the United States Code - there are no provisions for enforcement.
Bottom line, showing proper etiquette or respect for Old Glory or our national anthem is voluntary.
Then There Are The Ignorant And The Ingrate!
It's true that every now and again you find someone so self-absorbed that they are either ignorant or just plain stupid. Fact is that there are people, who in most cases were probably brought up without any guidance at all when it comes to love of our country. These people have no idea what these symbols mean, how precious they are, or that it is right to give respect to them. And yes, in most of their cases, it's a matter of us simply not being able to fix stupid!
Sadly, America have people in our country who purposely disrespect the flag in many way.
Some say they purposely spit in the face of those who have died defending our nation, those who have become disabled serving our great country, and of course those of us who serve our nation today in some way, shape, or form. But frankly, most who knowing disrespect our flag understand very well how that their act is no different than spitting in the face of all of their fellow Americans.
As for those ingrates, they have no class and aren't worth a tinker's dam. They are completely worthless.