American Flag Facts
Color Meanings of the Flag:
Red: Stands for Hardiness and Courage
White: Symbol of Purity and Innocence
Blue: Color of Vigilance, Perseverance, and Justice
Display Dates for the US Flag:
New Years Day, January 1
Martin Luther King Day, Third Monday in January
Inauguration Day, January 20 (every 4 years)
Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12
Washington’s Birthday, Third Monday in February
Army Day, April 6
V-E Day, May 8
Mother’s Day, Second Sunday in May
Armed Forces Day, Third Sunday in May
Memorial Day, (half-staff until noon), Last Monday in May
Flag Day, June 14
Independence Day, July 4
Labor Day, First Monday in September
V-J Day, September 2
Anniversary of the Writing of “Star Spangled Banner,” September 14
Constitution Day, September 17
Columbus Day, Second Monday in October
Navy Day, October 27
Presidential Election Day, First Tuesday after First Monday in November
Veteran’s Day, November 11
Thanksgiving Day, Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day, December 25
State and Local Holidays
When & Where to Display the Flag
On buildings and stationary flagpoles outdoors, the flag should be displayed only from sunrise to sunset:
- On or near the main administration building of every public institution
- In or near polling places on election days
- In or near schools when they are in session
- A citizen may fly the flag on any day he wishes.
The flag should not be displayed during stormy or rainy weather, unless for a special reason.
In no case should it ever touch the ground. It should be raised with briskness and when lowered, it should be done solemnly and slowly.
The blue field with the stars in the flag should be at the peak of a staff extending from the building front, balcony or window; and next to a pole when extended from a house to a pole at the edge of a sidewalk or suspended from a rope.
When the flag is displayed horizontally or vertically flat against a wall or similar place, the blue field mist be at the left of a person facing it; this is also true when used on a speakers right.
When the flag is displayed over the middle of a street, it is suspended vertically. The blue field points north in a street running east and west, and it points east in a street running north and south.
Displaying a Flag on an Automobile
The flag may be fastened to a small radiator ornament, or, if on a staff, it may be fastened to the grill-work in front of the car. If it is very tiny, it may be attached to the top of the radio aerial, or the flagstaff may be fastened to the bumper bracket, on the right as the flag is faced from the rider’s seat, as it is on the of the President of the United States.
Displaying the US Flag 24 Hours a Day
There is no ban on flying the United States Flag 24 hours a day. The flag code states that although it is custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset, if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness, the United States Flag may be displayed 24 hours a day.
How Long Should A Flag Last?
There is no definite answer to this question. How long any flag will last depends on the weather, its location, airborne contamination and how often you fly your flag. Remember, your flag is a piece of cloth that works very, very hard. Throughout its lifetime your flag shakes, trembles, drapes, snaps, chafes, bakes, freezes, ripples, flutters, furls, twists, flaps, strains, flies, unfurls and hangs! Is it any wonder that a flag that flies continuously needs replacing two or three times a year? Wind, water, sun and carelessness are the major enemies of a flag. No one can control the weather but you can take some important steps to lengthen the life of your flag. Occasionally washing your flag in warm detergent water will prevent pollutants and dirt from weakening the fabric. Always let your flag dry thoroughly before storing it to prevent mildew or color transfer. At the first sign of fraying, have your flag repaired before further damage is done. Always keep your flagpole as clean as possible and move your pole if your flag does not have adequate room to fly unobstructed.
Pledge of Allegiance
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The Flag Code
The Flag Code is a national guideline that establishes the rules for display and care of the United States Flag. No penalty or punishment is specified in the flag code for display of the United States Flag other than suggested. The Flag Code is simply an advisory to citizens. According to the code, specific ways in which the flag should not be used are:
- The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing, and can be flown upside down only as a distress signal.
- The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. Bunting of blue, white, and red can be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of a platform, or for decoration in general.
- The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a way that would allow it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged.
- The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, work, or other designs of any kind placed upon it.
- The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
- The flag should never be used for advertising purposes. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, paper napkins, boxes, or anything that is designed for temporary use. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a flag's staff or halyard.
- No part of the flag should be used is an element of a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be worn on the uniform of military personnel, firemen, and members of patriotic or other national organizations, such as the uniforms of veterans' service organizations or Scout uniforms.
When lowering the flag, no part of the flag should touch the ground. It should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag, ceremoniously fold it length wise in half, then repeat with the blue field on the outside. Finally, while one person holds it by the blue field, another then makes a triangular fold in the opposite end, continuing to fold it in triangles until only the blue shield shows.
When a flag is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be recycled or destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.