Fly Your Flag Properly This Independence Day

With the celebration of our country’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence, flags will be flown high and fireworks will grace the sky. When flying the flag, however, there are a number of rules of etiquette that apply to properly show respect for our country’s history.

Flags should usually be displayed from sunrise to sunset, and when being raised, it should be done briskly. The flag should be lowered ceremoniously and never touch the ground, and citizens are encouraged not to fly the flag in inclement weather unless it is an all-weather flag. According to the Flag Code, when the flag is raised or lowered as part of a ceremony as it passes by in parade or review, everyone, except those in uniform, should face the flag with the right hand over the heart.

The U.S. flag should never be dipped toward any person or object, nor should the flag ever touch anything beneath it. It can be flown at home 24 hours a day, as long as it is “appropriately illuminated” during hours of darkness. During holidays, it is in violation of the flag code to use flag napkins or flag paper plates because according to the Flag Code, the flag should not be “printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.”