Proper Flag Display for the 4th of July

U.S. flag at homeUnless you're in the military, married to someone in the military, or grew up a "military brat," chances are you don't know that flying a U.S. flag -- on the 4th of July or any other appropriate day -- isn't as simple as it sounds.

Oh no. There are rules. Lots of rules.

And while said rules may not be officially enforced (at least where I live), I think we all owe it to the flag and the U.S. history it represents to do it justice by following flag-flying rules, don't you?

Read on for the proper way to display a U.S. flag on the 4th of July.


The National Flag Foundation says there are four key elements to flying a U.S. flag properly at home.

First, the flag should be flown at night only if illuminated -- proper illumination means that the stars and stripes can be seen readily from a reasonable distance.

Second, the flag should be flown in inclement weather only if made of all-weather material. All-weather flags can be purchased from local flag dealers. Flags made to fly in and withstand high wind situations may also be purchased.

The flag should be clean and without tears, rips, or shredding.

When hanging the flag, it may be hung vertically from a window, roof eave, or other structural overhang. When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or building, the union should be at the peak of the staff.

While the flag can be displayed daily, particularly appropriate days to display the flag include:

Martin Luther King Day -- Third Monday in January
Lincoln's Birthday -- February 12
Washington's Birthday -- Third Monday in February
Armed Forces Day -- Third Saturday in May
Memorial Day -- Last Monday in May
Flag Day -- June 14

Labor Day -- First Monday in September
Patriot Day (half-staff) -- September 11
Constitution Day -- September 17
Columbus Day -- Second Monday in October
Veterans Day -- November 11
Thanksgiving Day -- Fourth Thursday in November

Do you plan to fly the flag on the 4th of July?


Image via Heather Elias/Flickr

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