How To Properly Display the American Flag At Home

June 1, 2021

Proper display American FlagWe were happy to see Utica area homes displaying the American flag this Memorial Day weekend. And we’ve noticed lots of homeowners keep them up for the entire summer. Good for them!

For us, the flag honors the sacrifices so many Americans make for our community. Not only the military men and women who serve. But also frontline healthcare workers, first responders, police officers, and so many more.

As you might have guessed, we hope more central New Yorker’s display the flag outside their homes. So we thought it a good idea to brief the community on proper flag etiquette. Probably like you, we knew there are rules but we weren’t quite sure what they actually are.

So we checked out the U. S. Flag Code. Here’s what we found…

How To Display the Flag of the United States of America

  • The custom is to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset. However, the flag may be displayed at night if you shine a light on it.
  • The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered slowly, ceremoniously.
  • You should display the flag on all days of the year. But especially on federal holidays.
  • When displayed with other flags, the U. S. flag is to its right of the other flags. No other flag is placed above the U. S. flag. When displayed in a group of state flags or localities or pennants of societies, the U. S. flag should be at the center. And at the highest point of the group. What about flags from different nations flown with the American flag? We’ve seen this before when a household hosts a foreign exchange student. International usage forbids the display of one nation above another in time of peace. So, display the flags on separate staffs at the same height.
  • The blue field with stars (the union) should be at the peak of the staff.

How To Respect the Flag

  • Never display the flag with the union down.
  • Never touch the flag with anything beneath it such as the ground, floor, or water.
  • Carry the flag aloft and free, not flat or horizontally.
  • Never use the flag as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.
  • The flag should never have placed upon it or attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
  • The flag should never be used as a costume or athletic uniform. A flag patch may be attached to the uniform of military personnel. Also firemen and women, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. So a lapel flag should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
  • If the flag gets worn out, faded, and tattered so it’s no longer fit for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way. Preferably by burning.

The line in the Code that really stuck with us is this:

“The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.”

That pretty much says it all. Respect for the flag is the same as respect for all Americans. So this summer we encourage you to display the flag in front of your home. Do it proudly and properly, especially to honor those who serve our great country.

Until next time,
Your SZW Team

SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here. In Westchester County call Zak Scalzo at 914.246.0315 or email at