Flag Day is celebrated annually on June 14 to commemorate the adoption of the US flag on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The flag symbolizes the pride of our nation and serves as a reminder of those in the military who fight to protect our country and our freedom.
There is a correct way to display the American Flag and the American Legion Auxiliary provides these US Flag Code reminders:
- When hoisting or lowering the flag, salute or place a hand over your heart.
- The flag should not be displayed on rainy days, unless it is an all-purpose flag.
- When lowered, the flag should never touch anything beneath it.
Below are a few of the frequently asked questions about the US flag:
Q: How are unserviceable flags destroyed?
- A: The Flag Code suggests that “when a flag has served its useful purpose, it should be destroyed, preferably by burning.” For individual citizens, this should be done discreetly so the act of destruction is not perceived as a protest or desecration. Many American Legion posts conduct Disposal of Unserviceable Flag Ceremonies on June 14, Flag Day. This ceremony creates a particularly dignified and solemn occasion for the retirement of unserviceable flags.
Q: Can the flag be washed or dry-cleaned?
- A: Yes. There are no provisions of the Flag Code which prohibit such care. The decision to wash or dry-clean would be dependent on the material.
Q: What should be the position of the flag when displayed from a staff in a church, public auditorium, or other public meeting place, whether indoors or outdoors, on platform, or on the floor at ground level?
- A: When used on a speaker’s platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church, public auditorium or meeting place, the flag should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the audience. Prior to the Flag Code changes in 1976, the display procedure was somewhat different. Now the staffed flag should always be placed to the right of the speaker (observer’s left) without regard to a platform or floor level.
Visit Legion.org/flag/code for the full US Flag Code.
To learn more about celebrating Flag Day and flag etiquette, visit ALAforVeterans.org.